Job Insecurity and Depressive Symptoms in Mothers and Adolescents: A Dyadic Study

Saija Mauno, Jaana Minkkinen, Riikka Hirvonen, Noona Kiuru

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Abstract

In this study, we examined whether maternal perceived job insecurity (JI) affected depressive symptoms in their adolescent children. Specifically, we tested a mediator-moderator model in which we hypothesized that maternal JI was related to adolescent depressive symptoms indirectly via maternal depressive symptoms. Most importantly, we also explored whether this indirect path was moderated by two buffering resources, i.e., maternal off-job recovery and adolescent self-esteem. There is little research on the effects of parental JI on adolescent children from the viewpoint of buffering moderators. Due to growing insecurity in the labor markets we need more information about resources that mitigate the harmful effects of JI within families. We tested the model via structural equation modeling among Finnish mother-adolescent dyads (N = 601, mothers aged 32–60 years; adolescents aged 14–18 years). Our results showed that mothers’ depressive symptoms did not mediate the relationship between mothers’ JI and adolescents’ depressive symptoms, but mothers’ JI was directly related to increased depressive symptoms among both adolescents and their mothers. Mothers’ off-job recovery and adolescents’ self-esteem buffered against mothers’ JI in relation to depressive symptoms. When off-job recovery (in mothers) and self-esteem (in adolescents) were high, the higher level of JI was not associated with increased depressive symptoms. Off-job recovery among working mothers should be improved as it has potential to protect against JI. Moreover, adolescents’ self-esteem should be boosted as it mitigates the effects of mothers’ job stress (e.g., JI) on adolescents’ well-being.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJOURNAL OF CHILD AND FAMILY STUDIES
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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  • Publication forum level 1

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