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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Personality change following unemployment
Author(s): Boyce, Christopher J
Wood, Alex M
Daly, Michael
Sedikides, Constantine
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Keywords: unemployment
personality change
Five Factor Model
Issue Date: Jul-2015
Date Deposited: 5-Aug-2015
Citation: Boyce CJ, Wood AM, Daly M & Sedikides C (2015) Personality change following unemployment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100 (4), pp. 991-1011.
Abstract: Unemployment has a strongly negative influence on well-being, but it is unclear whether it also alters basic personality traits. Whether personality changes arise through natural maturation processes or contextual/environmental factors is still a matter of debate. Unemployment, a relatively unexpected and commonly occurring life event, may shed light on the relevance of context for personality change. We examined, using a latent change model, the influence of unemployment on the five-factor model of personality in a sample of 6,769 German adults, who completed personality measures at 2 time points 4 years apart. All participants were employed at the first time point, and a subset became unemployed over the course of the study. By the second time point, participants had either remained in employment, been unemployed from 1 to 4 years, or had experienced some unemployment but become reemployed. Compared with those who had remained in employment, unemployed men and women experienced significant patterns of change in their mean levels of agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness, whereas reemployed individuals experienced limited change. The results indicate that unemployment has wider psychological implications than previously thought. In addition, the results are consistent with the view that personality changes as a function of contextual and environmental factors.
DOI Link: 10.1037/a0038647
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Journal of Applied Psychology, 100 (4), pp. 991-1011 by American Psychological Association. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record. The original publication is available at:

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