Contemporary picture of women's unemployment. Personality conditioning of unemployment and its consequences for psychic health
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Arch Psych Psych 2008;10(4):63-68
Aim. Unemployment is one of the most complex contemporary phenomena and it has not only economic but also social and psychological dimensions. Unemployment is connected with low self-esteem, depression, risk of suicide and alcohol-related diseases. Women's unemployment has become a syndrome of our times. It turns out that gender is an important indicator in the way of coping both in work and unemployment situations. Material and Methods. According to the assumed concept women have been questioned about their plans for the future and an anticipated way of their realization. The plans have been analysed as an expression of aspirations and motivations, by means of the specially prepared questionnaire. Mind abilities have been measured by the non-verbal Ricen's Intellect Potential Test. The Self concept has been identified on the basis of the selected concepts: Locus of Control; observational self-control; the need for social approval. The research has been made in the group of 84 unemployed women. Its aim was to describe the persons' individual potential and comparing ways of coping in the situation of long lasting (over 12 months) unemployment. Results. The results have shown that in each case the problem of individual experiencing of unemployment and coping with it, has remained in individual connection with a person's psychological properties. It turned out that the results of the surveyed women may be categorized: in the range of pragmatism, that were characterized by high results in case of women well functioning in social situations (so called pragmatic persons) and low results characteristic of principal persons (who use strict solutions). Other distinctions have also been made: between persons with internal Locus of Control and external Locus of Control, between more and less intelligent persons and between persons with a high need of social approval (deforming one's image) and with a low need of social approval (presenting one's real image). Conclusion. The knowledge of individual predispositions may help to prevent severe psychic problems connected with unemployment. The questionnaires described in this article may be used as a method of early prevention. Because personality traits are rather stable, it is possible to predict on their basis the future functioning and mental health.
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