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Title: Psychological consequences of unemployment among Hong Kong university graduates: The impact of optimism, coping and motivations
Authors: Lee, Kit Wa (李潔華)
Department: Department of Applied Social Studies
Issue Date: 2008
Course: SS4708 Research Project in Psychology
Programme: BSocSc (Hons) in Psychology
Instructor: Dr. Julian C. L. Lai
Subjects: College graduates -- Employment -- China -- Hong Kong -- Psychological aspects
Unemployment -- China -- Hong Kong -- Psychological aspects
Abstract: Objective. The present study aimed at examining the relations between optimism, coping strategies, job search behavior, motivations, and psychological consequences of unemployment among Hong Kong university graduates. It was hypothesized that (1) optimistic graduates would have less stress, (2) optimistic graduates would use more adaptive strategies to cope with unemployment, (3) graduates with higher levels of coping would have lesser stress, (4) graduates with high employment commitment and financial hardship would have higher stress, and (5) higher job search intensity and coping would predict higher chances of being employed. Method. One hundred and twenty Hong Kong university graduates completed a battery of questionnaires that assessed their psychological health, coping strategy, job search behavior, optimism, employment commitment and financial hardship. Psychological health was assessed by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Coping strategy was assessed by the Proactive Search (PS) subscale of Coping with Job Loss Scale (CWJLS). Job search behavior was assessed by an adaptation of job search intensity (JSI). Optimism was assessed by the revised version of the Life Orientation Test (CLOT-R). Motivation variables were operationalized and assessed by employment commitment and financial hardship. Results. Results indicated that higher optimistic level was associated with better mental health while the use of coping strategies was positively associated with optimism. Results of multiple regression analysis indicated that proactive job search, employment commitment and financial hardship are strong independent predictors of psychological health. Results of logistic regression analysis indicated that males had a higher chance of being employed than females. Discussion. Consistent with findings from prior Western studies, present findings suggest that optimism benefits one’s psychological health. However, there are also a number of discrepancies between present and previous findings, which may be indicative of cultural differences. Therefore, to have a better understanding of the mental health among the unemployed in Chinese populations, further studies are warranted.
Appears in Collections:OAPS - Dept. of Applied Social Sciences

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