Examining Psychological Self-Sufficiency Among Low-Income Jobseekers with Mental Health Barriers

Abstract

The study is to investigate psychological self-sufficiency—the force within someone that activates cognitive and non-cognitive process of shifting perceived barriers into hope actions—as it relates to economic self-sufficiency among jobseekers with mental health barriers. Among a sample of 2455 low-income jobseekers in job readiness programs at six community-based agencies in Chicago, a subsample of 424 who self-identified as having mental illness barriers are selected to analyze the relationships between employment hope, employment barriers, and economic self-sufficiency using structural equation modeling. Results indicate that employment hope mediates the path between perceived employment barriers and economic self-sufficiency. The study further highlights the positive effects of employment barriers on employment hope among jobseekers with perceived mental illnesses. The findings support growing evidence that psychological self-sufficiency is positively associated with gaining economic self-sufficiency in workforce development programs.

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Funding

This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services / Administration for Children and Families under Grant [90HG1003; 90PH0018]; Korea Foundation [2019-RF-020; 2016-RF0021]; and Lloyd A. Fry Foundation.

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Correspondence to Philip Young P. Hong.

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Hong, P.Y.P., Hong, R., Choi, S. et al. Examining Psychological Self-Sufficiency Among Low-Income Jobseekers with Mental Health Barriers. Community Ment Health J 57, 178–188 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-020-00630-7

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Keywords

  • Psychological self-sufficiency
  • Economic self-sufficiency
  • Employment hope
  • Employment barriers
  • Mental health
  • Structural equation modeling