Job Lock, Work, and Psychological Well-being in the United States

Source: Gwenith G. Fisher, Lindsay H. Ryan, Amanda Sonnega, Megan N. Naudé, Work, Aging and Retirement, Advance Access, First published online: 19 February 2016
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From the abstract:
The purpose of the present study was to examine job lock in relation to well-being among workers in the United States. Job lock refers to a circumstance in which a worker would like to retire or stop working altogether, but perceives that they cannot due to needing the income, and/or health insurance. Prior to examining job lock as a potential predictor of life satisfaction we first investigated the construct validity of job lock. Results from a sample of workers obtained via MTurk indicated that job lock due to financial need was more strongly associated with continuance and affective organizational commitment and job satisfaction compared to health insurance job lock. Job lock due to health insurance needs was related to a dimension of career entrenchment. We then tested hypotheses regarding the relation between job lock at T1 and life satisfaction at T2, 2 years later. Specifically, we hypothesized that perceptions of job lock would be negatively related to life satisfaction. Using 2 independent samples from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we found that both types of job lock were highly prevalent among workers aged 62–65. Job lock due to money was significantly associated with lower life satisfaction 2 years later. The findings for job lock due to health insurance were mixed across the 2 samples. This study was an important first step toward examining the relation between job lock, an economic concept, in relation to workers’ job attitudes and well-being.