Unemployment and Life Satisfaction: The Moderating Role of Time Structure and Collectivism1


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    We would like to thank the Ufficio di Collocamento and the Associazione Industriali in Padova and in Lecce for their kind collaboration.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Anne Maass, D. P. S. S., Università di Padova, Via Venezia, 8, 1-35131 Padova, Italy.


This study investigated the mitigating role of collectivism and time structure in reaction to unemployment. Participants (N= 229) with different occupational status (employed, students, unemployed) coming from either northern or southern Italy were compared with regard to general life satisfaction. Unemployed were found to show lower life satisfaction. self-esteem, and happiness than were employed peers or students, but these effects were found to be influenced by both collectivism and time structure. Life satisfaction was lower among unemployed from northern Italy (where individualistic norms prevailed) than from southern Italy (which was found to be more collectivist). Also, among unemployed, life satisfaction tended to be higher among those who perceived their use of time as more structured and purposive. The results suggest that unemployment may have less severe consequences in a collectivistic culture and for people with good time-structure abilities.