Work environment and school dropout: What are the effects of the psychosocial work environment?

Claus D. Hansen, Johan Hviid Andersen, Thomas Lund, Merete Labriola

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Abstract

Aim
The aim of this presentation is to examine the possible impact of work environment (and especially psychosocial work environment) on school dropout. The questions raised are: to what extent do psychosocial work environment and especially the social relations between young apprentices and their colleagues and managers play a role in dropping out of upper secondary education?
Methods
A cohort of 3058 adolescents born in 1989 and a cohort of approximately 2000 young adults born in 1983 are used to examine the associations between work environment and subsequent dropout in upper secondary educational tracks utilising questionnaire data collected as part of the West Jutland Cohort Study (VestLiv) in 2004, 2007 and 2010/11. Dropout events were identified using the educational register at Statistics Denmark and in addition self-reported episodes of drop out considerations are included as well.
Results
Preliminary results show that social relations between apprentices and their colleagues as well as their manager are reported as being of importance when asking the respondents about their reasons for terminating an upper secondary educational track. 40% of the participants that considered dropping out indicated that ‘being treated badly by superior’ was part of the reason for doing so. Further analyses show that reporting repetitive and monotonous work tasks increases the risk of dropping out (OR: 1.74) and that reporting bad working climate at ones work place increases the risk of considering terminating once education by a factor 7 although this latter part of the analysis is based only on a smaller sample and for that reason may be imprecise.
Conclusion
The results indicate that especially psychosocial work environment factors may play a role in the decision to terminate upper secondary educational tracks among adolescents and young adults. More studies are needed in order to confirm the associations observed here but if they are true more focus should be given to this area.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventWorkshop on "Young Workers and Wellbeing at Work": At the 3rd International Wellbeing at Work Conference - Scandic Hotel, København, Denmark
Duration: 26 May 2014 → …
Conference number: 3

Workshop

WorkshopWorkshop on "Young Workers and Wellbeing at Work"
Number3
LocationScandic Hotel
CountryDenmark
CityKøbenhavn
Period26/05/2014 → …

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