The changing nature of work, in conjunction with union power decline, has resulted in increasing levels of job insecurity and precarious work among the global workforce (Benach et al., 2014; Hoffman et al., 2020). Additionally, research has shown that older workers experience work differently than younger workers (Ng & Feldman, 2012), and represent 44% of the workforce in the United States (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020). The present study explores the extent to which the confluence of precarious work and age creates a scenario where these workers respond to job insecurity in ways which differ from what is typically depicted in models of job insecurity. Data were collected from 460 working adults in the US (Age M=40.90, SD=10.29) and analyzed using structural equation modeling. Results suggest that aspects of precarious work, specifically vulnerability to mistreatment and uncontracted work, were indirectly related to several work- related outcomes (i.e., job search behaviors, employee voice, well-being, and presenteeism) via job insecurity. No support was found for second-stage moderation by age, but findings from supplementary analyses suggested that age interacted with part-time work to predict presenteeism, which refers to going to work while ill, with older full-time workers engaging in presenteeism more often than older part-time workers. Together, this suggests that older workers represent a heterogenous subgroup of workers, and the variability in their experiences merits future research, with special regard for older workers in precarious work conditions. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Neal, Alissa (Gebben), "Will It Be OK Boomers?: Effects of Precarious Work on Older Job-Insecure Workers" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 506.