Call for Papers: A Proposal for a Special Section in the International Journal of Psychology.

Youth and the Great Recession – are values, achievement orientation and health affected?

Ingrid Schoon and Jeylan Mortimer, Guest Editors

The recent global economic downturn has undermined employment prospects for young people and is likely to also undermine youth confidence, self perceptions, values, health, and outlook to the future. Increasing uncertainty about the future may especially affect young people who study towards or recently received an educational degree. How do young people navigate and respond to changing education and employment conditions, and how do they see their futures in times of economic instability? Initial evidence indicatesthat recessionary times undermine confidence in society and its institutions, yet the same effect is not necessarily apparent regarding achievement orientations, self concepts and health outcomes, at least in the immediate aftermath of the recession. Furthermore, there are great variations in adjustment between countries, suggesting that there might be country-specific pre-existing trends that have to be taken into account to understand the impact of the recession on young people. The question is whether confidence in societal institutionsis indeed more responsive to current events, while achievement orientations, health and other outcomes are more enduring, carrying over from more prosperous to more difficult times.

The Special Section aims to bring together contemporary evidence on how events at the macro level cascade down to individual level experiences, and to provide new insights into the impact of the recession on young people’s evaluation of their situation in different countries characterised by distinct welfare regimes and economic circumstances. Studies may comprise quantitative and qualitative empirical studies of data gathered before and after the 2008 Great Recession, including work and family values, career goals, self concepts, the perceived likelihood of realizing one’s goals in the future, mental health or physical health. The studies should address circumstances in the wider socio-economic context and include objective markers of economic hardship, information regarding concurrent welfare systems and assessment of individual level experiences. Bringing together evidence from different countries will facilitate a comparison of similarities and differences in the consequences of economic difficulties for young people. Identification of generalizable patterns across countries as well as differences in experiences due to country specific scenarios has the potential to inform ameliorative public policies.

Researchers interested in submitting an article to the Special Section should submit a letter of intent via email to Ingrid Schoon (I.Schoon@ioe.ac.uk) and Jeylan Mortimer (morti002@umn.edu) no later than September 1, 2015. The letter should include the tentative title and an abstract of 500 words maximum (including a short theoretical statement, sample description, preliminary results, and a sentence about the importance of the study for the field). The letters will be reviewed by the section editors and potential contributors will be selected based on the originality of the research, overall diversity of topics, and fit to the general theme of the Special Section. Successful authors will be notified within two weeks and invited to submit first drafts of manuscripts by January 1, 2016. Manuscripts should be no longer than 6,000 words (including footnotes, references, tables, and figures, but excluding the abstract), have no more than 30 references, and include a 200-word abstract. All manuscripts will be subject to an external review process. For further questions concerning the Special Section, please contact Ingrid Schoon, (I.Schoon@ioe.ac.uk) and Jeylan Mortimer (morti002@umn.edu)

For further information concerning the International Journal of Psychology, visit the website at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/%28ISSN%291464-066X or contact the Editor-in-Chief, Rainer K. Silbereisen at rainer.silbereisen@uni-jena.de.

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