Stress and career adaptability during COVID-19: A serial multiple mediation model

Jianfeng Zhuang1, Yali Jiang2, Haiping Chen2
1Kewen College, Jiangsu Normal University, People’s Republic of China
2Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Zhuang, J., Jiang, Y., & Chen, H. (2021). Stress and career adaptability during COVID-19: A serial multiple mediation model. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 49(8), e10551.

Volume 49 Issue 8 | e10551 | Published: August 2021 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.10551

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To understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected students about to enter the job market, we surveyed 754 university seniors to investigate the perceived stress–career adaptability relationship. We also assessed if positive psychological capital (PsyCap) and work volition mediated this relationship. The results show that the seniors’ perceived stress during the COVID-19 pandemic negatively predicted career adaptability. Moreover, the sequential mediation effect (perceived stress reduces positive PsyCap and work volition, which predicts career adaptability) was supported. Thus, lower positive PsyCap can reduce work volition and adaptability. We are among the first researchers to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has disadvantaged recent university graduates in the labor market, and we have provided new perspectives on how to improve their career adaptability.

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