Psychological resources in adolescence and the association with labour market participation in early adulthood: a prospective cohort study

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BACKGROUND: Young adults at the age of 25-29 in Denmark have the highest unemployment rate and are at higher risk of labour market marginalization. Exclusion from the labour market may have negative individual consequences on mental and physical health and can lead to increasing societal expenditures due to social benefits. It is important to understand what factors determine or protect against early labour market marginalization. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between psychological resources in adolescence and labour market participation in early adulthood, and whether the associations differed by gender.

METHODS: This prospective cohort study used questionnaire data collected through the West Jutland Cohort study in 2004 and 2007. The study population (N = 2982) consisted of people born in 1989 and living in the county of Ringkjoebing at baseline in 2004. Outcome was dichotomized as +/- 12 months of passive labour market participation during the age of 25-29. Psychological resources were measured as self-esteem, sense of coherence and mastery. Logistic regression analyses were performed to investigate the associations between psychological resources and labour market participation.

RESULTS: Results indicated associations between high levels of mastery or sense of coherence in adolescence and high labour market participation in early adulthood. The strongest associations were observed for females with a medium (OR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.3-2.8) or high level (OR: 1.6, 95% CI: 1.0-2.4) of mastery or a high level of sense of coherence (OR: 1.6 95% CI: 1.0-2.4) at age 15 and for males with a medium (OR: 2.7, 95% CI: 1.5-3.8) or high (OR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.1-3.5) level of mastery or a high level of sense of coherence (OR: 1.7, 95% CI: 0.9-3.1) at age 18.

CONCLUSION: The results of the present study indicate associations between a high level of sense of coherence or mastery in adolescence and high labour market participation in early adulthood in a Danish context. Psychological resources seemed to play a bigger role for females in early adolescence compared to males, for whom a larger impact was seen in late adolescence.

TidsskriftBMC Public Health
Sider (fra-til)386
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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