Working adults’ positive coping and age: Their interaction effects on psycho-social career preoccupations

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 27, issue 6, 2017, pages: 530–536
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2017.1399558
Author(s): Melinde CoetzeeDepartment of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, South Africa


The present study explored positive coping behaviour and age interaction effects on workers’ psycho-social career preoccupations. Participants were workers employed within a chemical industry in South Africa (n = 525). The sample was represented by younger (21–34 years, n = 257) and older (35–55 years, n = 268) workers (male = 52%, black = 51%). The participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Positive Coping Behavioural Inventory, and Psycho-social Career Preoccupations Scale. Hierarchical moderated regressions were computed to test whether workers’ age influenced the nature of the effect of their positive coping behaviour on their career preoccupations. Results indicated a positive coping and age interaction effect on career establishment preoccupations in that younger workers with low positive coping behaviour had significantly higher career establishment preoccupations than their older counterparts with low positive coping behaviour. High positive coping behaviour was significantly associated with low career establishment preoccupations for both younger and older workers. The findings suggest that helping adult workers identify positive coping behavioural strengths for managing their career preoccupations would be important for their career development in today’s uncertain and rapidly changing employment environment.

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