Fr-SYM-2644-6 - A Vicious Circle: How Perceived Age-Related Discrimination, One's Sense Of Employability, Job-Related Self-Efficacy And Health Influence One Another

1 hour
Labor market issues
A vicious circle: How perceived age-related discrimination, one’s sense of employability, job-related self-efficacy and health influence one another
U.-C. Klehe 1,*, L. Vorobyova 1, P. Grooss 1
1University of Gießen, Gießen, Germany
Main Abstract Content: Purpose
Job search during unemployment requires self-regulation and a sustained belief in one’s own abilities. Particularly older unemployed people face severe difficulties, however: They are less likely to find reemployment than younger job-seekers, also after controlling for their own – slightly lower – job-search intensity. The likely reason for both effects are age-related stereotypes and discrimination.
Our first assumption is that experiencing age-related discrimination undermines older job seekers’ self-perceived employability (particularly their work related identity and adaptability, less their human and social capital) – which is problematic since employability is crucial to a sustained health, belief in one’s own abilities and job search. Further, a reduced health- and self-efficacy may itself make people more vulnerable to further discrimination.

In a cross-lagged panel design, we surveyed 152 elderly unemployed for their perceived discrimination during job search, their employability, job-search self-efficacy, health and job-search intensity.

Results indicate a vicious cycle: perceived age-based discrimination undermines perceived employability, which in turn both directly and indirectly (via self-efficacy) undermines the unemployed person’s mental health and job-search intensity. Mental health and job-search intensity in turn are crucial for not experiencing further age-based discrimination. 

The cross-lagged panel design allowed the conclusion of causal effects but not the testing of indirect relationships. The sample size is somewhat small for the complexity of the model proposed.

Research/Practical Implications
Practical implications for intervention and employment programs will be discussed.
This is the first study to test for the effects of age-based discrimination on job-seekers’ own perceptions, health, and behaviours.

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