UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The experience of job insecurity for women university graduates in temporary and contract jobs in Vancouver Earnshaw, A. P. Russell


Field research was used to document the psychological and contextual experience of job insecurity for 15 graduate women in jobs with limited tenure and protection. Single, hour-long, intensive focused interviews were used, employing a projective technique. Transcripts of taped interviews were analyzed for factors associated with positive and negative emotional shifts. Factors were categorized and grouped into domains, which included: the nature of the subjects' job insecurity; effects on work performance, work relations, emotional and physical health, finances, leisure, and, personal and family life. The experience was shown to fit a transition model of loss and adaption to change. Major stressors were uncertainty, financial fears, pressure to perform, loss of trust, job search and career fears. Typical cognitions included: self doubt; feeling unappreciated, disillusioned, powerless and isolated. Cynicism and feeling compromised were less common reactions. Work relations, and work performance were generally adversely affected as were leisure activities and family life. Financial retrenchment was common. All subjects reported stress and anxiety; some reported depressive symptoms. Thirteen coping strategies were identified. Cognitive coping was prominent, in particular, denial-like processes used to maintain optimism. "Good coping" and "poor coping" profiles were developed from the data.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.