The purpose of this study was, first, to validate the factor structure of psychological self-sufficiency (PSS) and, second, to investigate the extent to which PSS affects economic self-sufficiency (ESS) among low-income job seekers. PSS is conceptualized as a transformative process-driven psychological capital that comprises employment hope and perceived employment barriers. Using a sample of 802 low-income job seekers from two different local job training programs in Chicago, a multisample confirmatory factor analysis tested the factor structure of PSS, and a structural equation modeling analysis was conducted to test the hypothesized pathways to ESS, examining employment hope and perceived employment barriers individually and taking the difference score between the two. Findings revealed that PSS significantly contributes to ESS. Workforce development practitioners need to focus on clients’ PSS when working with them to achieve ESS. Benchmarking PSS, providing adequate supportive services, and engaging employers are warranted as ways to build a system that generates successful employment and retention paths and outcomes. (Author abstract)
Psychological self-sufficiency: A bottom-up theory of change in workforce development
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