Attributions of causes for unemployment by unemployed workers

Pedro Fernando Bendassolli, Sonia Maria Guedes Gondim, Fellipe Coelho-Lima


This study investigated the assignment of causes for unemployment by unemployed workers, with a view to analyzing the predictive power of sociodemographic variables for the assignment. A scale of causal attribution of unemployment, originally developed by Furnham, was applied to 376 unemployed people. After confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), the scale factors were used in a regression model containing sociodemographic variables as predictors. The CFA results support Furnham’s original three-factor model of unemployment causes (individualistic, societal, and fatalistic; χ2(100) = 261.53, p < 0.001; χ2/gl = 2.61; CFI = 0.91, TLI = 0.90; RMSEA = 0.06). Regression analysis identified significant prediction for only the income variable and individualistic causes factor (β = 0.15, p < 0.01), the income variable and societal causes factor (β = 0.10, p < 0.001), and the educational level variable and societal causes factor (β = -0.15, p < 0.01). Societal causes presented the highest average score, which was significantly (p < 0.001) different than the scores for the other two factors. The study concludes that educational level does not seem to have a linear impact on beliefs regarding the causes for unemployment, nor does gender have a significant influence on these beliefs.


Keywords: unemployment; attributing causes; Furnham’s scale


unemployment; attributing causes; Furnham’s scale


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