Eglė Sabaitytė, Aistė Diržytė


Background. Youth unemployment is currently one of the biggest problems in European society. It can reduce the economic prosperity and psychological well- being of unemployed youth. Positive psychological capital (PsyCap) and self-compassion are linked with a number of positive constructs. Those include satisfaction with life, positive affect and personal initiative to make needed changes in one’s life. Thus, PsyCap and self-compassion could be promising resources enhancing the psychological well-being of unemployed youth.

The aims of the study are: 1) to reveal relation between PsyCap and self-compassion with life satisfaction of unemployed youth; 2) to investigate the difference between PsyCap and self-compassion for higher and lower levels of life satisfaction among unemployed youth.

Methods. The sample consisted of 80 unemployed Lithuanians aged 19-29 (38% male, 62% female). The Psychological capital questionnaire (Luthans et al., 2007), Satisfaction With Life scale (Diener et al., 1985), and Self-Compassion scale (Neff, 2003a) were used in the study.

Results. Positive and significant correlations were found between PsyCap and life satisfaction. Moreover, we found positive and significant correlations between PsyCap components and all positive self-compassion components. Although life satisfaction positively correlates with total self-compassion, however, not all positive components of self-compassion correlate with the life satisfaction of unemployed youth. Furthermore, unemployed youth highly satisfied with life had higher levels of PsyCap and self-compassion compared to unemployed youth who were less satisfied with life.

Conclusions. Our findings revealed positive correlations between PsyCap and self-compassion with life satisfaction of unemployed youth. Future research is needed in order to explore the causality between variables. 


psychological capital, self-compassion, life satisfaction, unemployed youth.

Full Text:



Åslund, C., Starrin, B., Nilsson, K. W. (2014). Psychosomatic symptoms and low psychological well-being in relation to employment status: The influence of social capital in a large cross-sectional study in Sweden. International Journal for Equity in Health, 13(1), 1-19.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman. Bandura, A. (1999). Social cognitive theory of personality. In L. Pervin & O. John (Ed.), Handbook of personality (2nd ed,). New York, NY: Guilford Press. pp. 154-225.

Barnard, L. K. & Curry, J. F. (2012). The relationship of clergy burnout to self- compassion and other personality dimensions. Pastoral Psychology, 61(2), 149-163.

Bjornstad, R. (2006). Learned helplessness, discouraged workers, and multiple unemployment equilibria. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 35, 458-475.

Culbertson, S. S., Fullagar, C. J., Mills, M. J. (2010). Feeling good and doing great: The relationship between psychological capital and well-being. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 15, 421-433.

Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71-75.

Eurostat (2016, August 23). Retrieved from

Froman, L. (2010). Positive psychology in the workplace. Journal of Adult Development, 17(2), 59-69.

Holmstrom, A. J., Russell, J. C., Clare, D. D. (2015). Assessing the role of job-search self-efficacy in the relationship between esteem support and job-search behavior among two populations of job seekers. Communication Studies, 66(3), 277-300.

Iskender, M. (2009). The relationship between self-compassion, self-efficacy, and control belief about learning in Turkish university students. Social Behavior and Personality, 37(5), 711-720. DOI: 10.2224/sbp.2009.37.5.711.

Leary, M. R., Tate, E. B., Adams, C. E., Allen, A. B., & Hancock, J. (2007). Self-compassion and reactions to unpleasant self-relevant events: The implications of treating oneself kindly. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(5), 887-904.

Lorenzini, J. (2015). Subjective well-being and political participation: A comparison of unemployed and employed youth. Journal of Happiness Studies, 16(2), 381-404.

Luthans, F. (2002). The Need for and meaning of positive organizational behavior. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23(6), 695-706. DOI: 10.1002/job.165.

Luthans, F., Avolio B., Avey, J., & Norman, S. (2007). Positive psychological capital: Measurement and relationship with performance and satisfaction. Personnel Psychology, 60(3), 541-572. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.2007.00083.x.

Luthans, F., Youssef, C. M., Sweetman, D. S., Harms, P. D. (2013). Meeting the leadership challenge of employee well-being through relationship PsyCap and health PsyCap. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 20(1), 118-133. DOI: 10.1177/1548051812465893.

Masten, A. S., & Reed, M. G. J. (2002). Resilience in development. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds), Handbook of positive psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 74-88.

Neff, K. (2003a). The development and validation of a scale to measure self- compassion. Self and Identity, 2, 223-250. DOI: 10.1080/15298860390209035.

Neff, K. D. (2003b). Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and Identity, 2, 85-102. DOI: 10.1080/15298860 390129863.

Neff, K. D. (2009). Self-compassion. In M. R. Leary & R. H. Hoyle (Ed.), Handbook of Individual Differences in Social Behavior. New York: Guilford Press. pp. 561-573. Neff, K. D., & McGehee, P. (2010). Self-compassion and psychological resilien- ce among adolescents and young adults. Self and Identity, 9, 225-240. DOI: 10.1080/15298860902979307

Neff, K. D., Rude, S. S., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2007). An examination of self-compassion in relation to positive psychological functioning and personality traits. Journal of Research in Personality, 41(4), 908-916.

Rani, K. E. (2015). The role of psychological capital (PsyCap) in psychological well being of unemployed Indian youth. Journal of Psychosocial Research, 10(1), 149-157.

Reine, I., Novo, M., Hammarström, A. (2011). Is participation in labour market programmes related to mental health? Results from a 14-year follow-up of the Northern Swedish Cohort. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 39(1), 26-34. Riolli, L., Savicki, V., & Richards, J. (2012). Psychological capital as a buffer to student stress. Psychology, 3(12A), 1202-1207.

Seligman, M. E. P. (1998). Learned Optimism. New York: Pocket Books.

Scheier, M., & Carver, C. (1992). Effects of optimism on psychological and physical well-being: Theoretical overview and empirical update. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 16(2), 201-228.

Snyder, C. R. (2000). Handbook of hope. San Diego: Academic Press.

Snyder, C. R., Irving, L., Anderson, J. (1991). Hope and health: Measuring the will and the ways. In C. R. Snyder & D. R. Forsyth (Ed.), Handbook of social and clinical psychology. Elmsford, NY: Pergamon. pp. 285-305.

Stajkovic, A., & Luthans, F. (1998). Social cognitive theory and self-efficacy: Going beyond traditional motivational and behavioral approaches. Organizational Dynamics, 26 (4), 62-74.

Tamesberger, D. (2015). A multifactorial explanation of youth unemployment and the special case of Austria. International Social Security Review, 68(1), 23-45.

Thomson, K., Schonert-Reichl, K., Oberle, I. (2015). Optimism in early adolescence: relations to individual characteristics and ecological assets in families, schools, and neighborhoods. Journal of Happiness Studies, 16(4), 889-913.

Zenger, M., Berth, H., Brähler, E., Stöbel-Richter, Y. (2013). Health complaints and unemployment: The role of self-efficacy in a prospective cohort study. Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, 32(1), 97-115.


Copyright (c) 2017 International Journal of Psychology: A Biopsychosocial Approach

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

ISSN 1941-7233 (Print)

ISSN 2345-024X (Online)