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  • 1.
    Axelsson, Lars
    Kristianstad University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Youth - the future manpower: studies on unemployment, quality of life and work attitudes in young people2005Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim was to gain knowledge of experiences of unemployment in young adults with special regard to quality of life (QOL) and to highlight work attitudes and related factors among adolescents. Three studies were performed in Kristianstad municipality, Sweden. In Study 1, a questionnaire was sent in 1998 to 264 unemployed young adults (md=22 years, range 20?25) and to a control group of 528 randomly selected young adults who were studying or working. In Study 2, interviews with 16 unemployed young adults(md=22 years, range 20?24) were performed. In Study 3, 606 students in upper secondary school (md=18, range 18?22) were invited to participate in a questionnaire study. In Study 1, the prevalence of three or more mental health symptoms was 41% in males and 60% in females. Unemployed reported lower mental health than controls. In unemployed females, without very good parental support and with low self-esteem, 76% had three or more mental health problems. Unemployed had lower QOL than controls. However, this picture seemed diversified as 35% reported that QOL had become worse, 41% reported unchanged QOL and 24% reported that QOL had become better since unemployment started. In Study 2, the variation in experiences of unemployment was established in more depth by the qualitative research approach. Perception and action were constituents of QOL among unemployed young adults and QOL was regarded as an outcome of these two dimensions. Perception and action varied greatly, and four groups with substantial differences in QOL were identified: fighters, optimists, exposed and unworried subjects. Study 3 focused on work attitudes. Two separate dimensions of work attitudes were found: work ethics (WE), including attitudes to using the social welfare system, and general work attitudes (GWA), including the general attitude towards work and life as a context. Being female, having very positive work experiences, having good QOL, high SOC and good subjective health were positively related to WE. Being female, studying on a practical programme, being content with the school period, having high SOC and very good parental support were positively related to GWA. This thesis shows that unemployment is experienced in various ways, and these experiences are not only negative. Individual factors such as QOL, SOC, health and parental support are of importance to both unemployment experiences and attitudes to work. Consequently, when the purpose is to increase young adults? possibilities to participate in working life, it can be argued that strategies where the focus is on the individual perspective instead of the collective approach are relevant.

  • 2.
    Axelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Andersson, H. Ingemar
    Kristianstad University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Edén, Lena
    Kristianstad University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Ejlertsson, Göran
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Hälsovetenskap. Kristianstad University, Forskningsmiljön Människa - Hälsa - Samhälle (MHS).
    Inequalities of quality of life in unemployed young adults: a population-based questionnaire study2007In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 6, p. 1-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: It is well known that unemployment is a great problem both to the exposed individual and to the whole society. Unemployment is reported as more common among young people compared to the general level of unemployment. Inequity in health status and lifesatisfaction is related to unemployment. The purpose of this population-based study was to describe QOL among unemployed young people compared to those who are not unemployed, and to analyse variables related to QOL for the respective groups.

    Methods: The sample consisted of 264 young unemployed individuals and 528 working or studying individuals as a reference group. They all received a questionnaire about civil status, educational level, immigration, employment status, self-reported health, self-esteem, social support, social network, spare time, dwelling, economy and personal characteristics. The response rate was 72%. The significance of differences between proportions was tested by Fisher's exact test or by χ2 test. Multivariate analysis was carried out by means of a logistic regression model.

    Results: Our results balance the predominant picture of youth unemployment as a principally negative experience. Although the unemployed reported lower levels of QOL than the reference group, a majority of unemployed young adults reported good QOL, and 24% even experienced higher QOL after being unemployed. Positive QOL related not only to good health, but also to high self-esteem, satisfaction with spare time and broad latitude for decision-making.

    Conclusion: Even if QOL is good among a majority of unemployed young adults, inequalities in QOL were demonstrated. To create more equity in health, individuals who report reduced subjective health, especially anxiety need extra attention and support. Efforts should aim at empowering unemployed young adults by identifying their concerns and resources, and by creating individual programmes in relation not only to education and work, but also to personal development.

  • 3.
    Axelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Andersson, Ingemar
    Kristianstad University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Håkansson, Anders
    Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö, Family Medicine, Lund University.
    Ejlertsson, Göran
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Hälsovetenskap. Kristianstad University, Forskningsmiljön Människa - Hälsa - Samhälle (MHS).
    Work ethics and general work attitudes in adolescents are related to quality of life, sense of coherence and subjective health: a Swedish questionnaire study2005In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 5, p. 103-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Working life is an important arena in most people's lives, and the working line concept is important for the development of welfare in a society. For young people, the period before permanent establishment in working life has become longer during the last two decades. Knowledge about attitudes towards work can help us to understand young people's transition to the labour market. Adolescents are the future workforce, so it seems especially important to notice their attitudes towards work, including attitudes towards the welfare system. The aim of this study was to describe and analyse upper secondary school students' work attitudes, and to explore factors related to these attitudes. METHODS: The sample consisted of 606 upper secondary school students. They all received a questionnaire including questions about quality of life (QOL), sense of coherence (SOC), subjective health and attitudes towards work. The response rate was 91%. A factor analysis established two dimensions of work attitudes. Multivariate analyses were carried out by means of logistic regression models. RESULTS: Work ethics (WE) and general work attitudes (GWA) were found to be two separate dimensions of attitudes towards work. Concerning WE the picture was similar regardless of gender or study programme. Males in theoretical programmes appeared to have more unfavourable GWA than others. Multivariate analyses revealed that good QOL, high SOC and good health were significantly related to positive WE, and high SOC was positively related to GWA. Being female was positively connected to WE and GWA, while studying on a practical programme was positively related to GWA only. Among those who received good parental support, GWA seemed more favourable. CONCLUSION: Assuming that attitudes towards work are important to the working line concept, this study points out positive factors of importance for the future welfare of the society. Individual factors such as female gender, good QOL, high SOC and good health as well as support from both parents, positive experience of school and work contacts related positively to attitudes towards work. Further planning and supportive work have to take these factors into account.

  • 4.
    Axelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Brorsson, A.
    Håkansson, A.
    Ejlertsson, Göran
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Hälsovetenskap. Kristianstad University, Forskningsmiljön Människa - Hälsa - Samhälle (MHS).
    Variations in perception of unemployment and actions as unemployed: interviews with sixteen young adultsArticle in journal (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Axelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Ejlertsson, Göran
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Hälsovetenskap. Kristianstad University, Forskningsmiljön Människa - Hälsa - Samhälle (MHS).
    Self-reported health, self-esteem and social support among young unemployed people: a population-based study2002In: International Journal of Social Welfare, ISSN 1369-6866, E-ISSN 1468-2397, Vol. 11, no 2, p. 111-119Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A population-based study was performed in southern Sweden in the autumn of 1998. The aim was to study connections between self-reported health, self-esteem and social support among unemployed (≥ three months) young people. The sample consisted of 264 unemployed individuals aged 20–25 years, and 528 individuals of the same age, randomly selected from the population register and not registered as unemployed. The response rate was 72%. Defined by means of factor analysis, mental health consisted of the symptoms tearfulness, dysphoria, sleeping disturbance, restlessness, general fatigue and irritability. The unemployed had more mental health problems than young people who were working or studying. Restlessness and dysphoria were significantly over-represented in the unemployed among both sexes. However, good social support seemed to predict mental health. Support from parents was most important, particularly in males. Those with low self-esteem and poor parental support were especially vulnerable.

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