Psychological resources, their social antecedents, and association with well-being and health behaviour in early adulthood

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http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-802-840-9
Title: Psychological resources, their social antecedents, and association with well-being and health behaviour in early adulthood
Author: Ek, Ellen
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, Department of Psychology
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health; Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2008-08-08
Language: en
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-802-840-9
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/19790
Thesis level: Doctoral dissertation (article-based)
Abstract: The success of entering work life, young people s psychological resources and self-reported well-being were studied in a longitudinal setting from a life-span developmental-contextual perspective in early adulthood. The aim was to analyse how psychosocial characteristics in early childhood and adolescence predict successful entrance into work life, how this is associated with well-being, and to assess the level of psychological resources such as dispositional optimism, personal meaning of work and coping in early adulthood. The role of these and social support, in the relationship between regional factors (such as place of residence and migration), self-reported health and life satisfaction was studied. The association between a specific coping strategy, i.e. eating and drinking in a stressful situation and eating habits, was studied to demonstrate how coping is associated with health behaviour. Multivariate methods, including binary logistic regression analyses and ANOVA, were used for statistical analyses. The subjects were members of the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort, which consists of all women and men born in 1966 in the two northernmost provinces of Finland (n= 12,058). The most recent follow-up, at the age of 31 years when 11,637 subjects were alive, took place in 1997-1998. The results show, first, that social resources in the childhood family and adolescence school achievement predict entrance into the labour market. Secondly, psychosocial resources were found to mediate the relationship between migration from rural to urban areas, and subjective well-being. Thirdly, psychological resources at entrance into the labour market were found to develop from early infancy on. They are, however, influenced later by work history. Fourthly, stress-related eating and drinking, as a way of coping, was found to be directly associated with unhealthy eating habits and alcohol use. Gender differences were found in psychosocial resources predicting, and being associated with success in entering the labour market. For men, the role of attitudinal and psychological factors seems to be especially important in entrance into work life and in the development of psychological resources. For women, academic attainment was more important for successfully entering work life, and lack of emotional social support was a risk factor for stress-related eating only among women. Stress-related eating and drinking habits were predicted by a long history of unemployment as well as a low level of education among both genders, but not excluding an academic degree among men. The results emphasize the role of childhood psychosocial factors in preventing long-term unemployment and in enhancing psychological well-being in early adulthood. Success in entering work life, in terms of continuous work history, plays a crucial role for well-being and the amount of psychological resources in early adulthood. The results emphasize the crucial role of enhancing psychological resources for promoting positive health behaviour and diminishing regional differences in subjective well-being.Nuorten aikuisten työelämään kiinnittymistä, psykologisia voimavaroja, itsearvioitua hyvinvointia ja terveyskäyttäytymistä tutkittiin elämänkulkunäkökulmasta. Lapsuuden perheen sosiaaliset resurssit ja oma koulumenestys ennustivat työelämään kiinnittymistä ja psykologisia voimavaroja nuorena aikuisena. Asuinpaikan ja koetun hyvinvoinnin välistä suhdetta välitti sosiaalinen tuki ja psykologiset voimavarat. Stressin hallintakeinot olivat yhteydessä terveyskäyttäytymiseen. Tulokset korostavat psykologisten voimavarojen roolia työuran alun hyvinvoinnin edistämisessä. Niiden kehittymisen tukeminen on tärkeää myös terveellisen terveyskäyttäytymisen edistämisessä.
Subject: psykologia
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