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Career urgency and turnover intention among young adult workers: a comparison by gender and employment status | BMC Psychology

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Career urgency and turnover intention among young adult workers: a comparison by gender and employment status | BMC Psychology

Comparison of scale scores

After calculating Cronbach’s reliability coefficient α for the subscales of each scale, the mean and standard deviation for each of the four groups (regular men, regular women, non-regular men, and non-regular women) were calculated according to gender and employment status, as well as a two-way ANOVA (Table 2). The results showed that the turnover intention (F(1, 396) = 5.38, p < 0.05, ηp2 = 0.01) had a significant interaction when the independent variables were combined. A simple main effect test revealed that the effect of gender was significant for regular employees (F(1, 396) = 8.76, p < 0.01, ηp2 = 0.02) and was significantly higher for women as opposed to men. Moreover, the effect of the employment status was significant for women (F(1, 396) = 4.34, p < 0.05, ηp2 = 0.01) and was significantly higher for regular employees as opposed to non-regular employees.

Table 2 Mean, SD, and analysis of variance results for each scale by group

In terms of career urgency, there was a significant interaction between the “feeling of being pressurized” (F(1, 396) = 6.39, p < 0.05, ηp2 = 0.02) and the “urge to develop one’s career” (F(1, 396) = 4.67, p < 0.05, ηp2 = 0.01). A simple main effect test revealed that the effect of gender on the “feeling of being pressurized” was significant for regular employees (F(1, 396) = 5.61, p < 0.05, ηp2 = 0.01) and was higher for women as opposed to men. Further, the effect of the employment status was significant for men (F(1, 396) = 5.16, p < 0.05, ηp2 = 0.01) and was significantly higher for non-regular employees than for regular employees. In terms of the “urge to develop one’s career,” the effect of the employment status tended to be significant for women (F(1, 396) = 3.72, p < 0.01, ηp2 = 0.01) and was higher for regular employees than for non-regular employees. No interaction was observed for “concern for one’s career,” and the results of the t-test showed a significant difference between genders (t(355.88) = 3.06, p < 0.10, r = 0.16), with higher numbers among women than among men.

With regard to the career urgency-provoking situations, no interactions were observed and the t-test revealed a significant difference between genders for all subscales, namely, “stagnation of career exploration” (t(398) = 2.94, p < 0.01, r = 0.15), “low evaluation from affiliation” (t(398) = 2.21, p < 0.05, r = 0.11), “upward comparison of the careers of friends and acquaintances” (t(398) = 2.69, p < 0.01, r = 0.13), and “lack of work–life balance” (t(398) = 5.44, p < 0.001, r = 0.26); men had higher values as when compared to women.

Evaluation of model fit by covariance structure analysis

The paths were drawn from the four subscales of the career urgency-provoking situations to the three subscales of career urgency, and from the three subscales of career urgency to the turnover intention, based on the model that states that the tendency for impatience in situations such as “stagnation of career exploration,” “low evaluation from affiliation,” “upward comparison of the careers of friends and acquaintances,” and “lack of work–life balance” leads to turnover intention through career urgency, such as the “feeling of being pressurized,” “urge to develop one’s career,” and “concern for one’s career.” In addition, covariance was assumed between the four subscales of the Career Urgency-Provoking Situation Scale and the errors of the three subscales of career urgency. SPSS AMOS 26.0 was used for the covariance structure analysis.

First, the participants were divided into four groups—regular male employees, regular female employees, non-regular male employees, and non-regular female employees—and were then analyzed thereafter. After confirming the goodness of fit of the model in each group, a simultaneous multi-population analysis was performed. The results showed that goodness-of-fit index (GFI) = 0.992, adjusted goodness-of-fit index (AGFI) = 0.928, and root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0; thus, the fit of the model was good. Therefore, it is highly likely that the constructed path analysis model has a good fit for each group and that the placement invariance remains the same. Subsequently, the path coefficients were compared using equality constraints. Model 1 was set without equality constraints, Model 2 was set with equality constraints on all covariances, and Model 3 was set with the assumption that all covariances and path coefficients are equivalent in each group. Model 2 had an Akaike information criterion (AIC) value of 268.479, which is smaller than that of Model 1 (AIC = 268.915) and Model 3 (AIC = 271.971); this indicates that Model 2 fits the best. Figures 1 and 2 show standardized solutions as path coefficients for Model 1.

Fig. 1
figure 1

Simultaneous multi-population analysis (regular employees). ***p <.001, **p <.01, *p<.05. The upper row of path coefficients indicates males and the lower row indicates females. Descriptions of covariance and error variance were omitted

Fig. 2
figure 2

Simultaneous multi-population analysis (non-regular employees). ***p <.001, *p<.05. The upper row of path coefficients indicates males and the lower row indicates females. Descriptions of covariance and error variance were omitted.

The results of the analysis revealed a significant path from “feeling of being pressurized” (β = 0.54, p < 0.001) to turnover intention in regular male employees. A significant path was revealed from “stagnation of career exploration” (β = 0.41, p < 0.001) and “upward comparison of the careers of friends and acquaintances” (β = 0.34, p < 0.001) to “feeling of being pressurized,” from “stagnation of career exploration” (β = 0.23, p < 0.05) and “low evaluation from affiliation” (β = 0.40, p < 0.001) to “urge to develop one’s career,” and from “stagnation of career exploration” (β = 0.46, p < 0.001) to “concern for one’s career.” The results of the analysis revealed a significant path from the “feeling of being pressurized” (β = 0.26, p < 0.05) to turnover intention in regular female employees. A significant path was revealed from “stagnation of career exploration” (β = 0.37, p < 0.01) to “feeling of being pressurized,” from “stagnation of career exploration” (β = 0.23, p < 0.05) to “urge to develop one’s career,” and from “stagnation of career exploration” (β = 0.32, p < 0.01) and “upward comparison of the careers of friends and acquaintances” (β = 0.27, p < 0.01) to “concern for one’s career.”

Among the non-regular male employees, no significant effect on turnover intention was observed in any of the subscales of career urgency. However, a significant path was revealed from “stagnation of career exploration” (β = 0.64, p < 0.001) to “feeling of being pressurized,” from “low evaluation from affiliation” (β = 0.36, p < 0.05) to “urge to develop one’s career,” and from “stagnation of career exploration” (β = 0.71, p < 0.001) to “concern for one’s career.” The results of the analysis revealed a significant path from “concern for one’s career” (β = 0.42, p < 0.001) to turnover intention in non-regular female employees. Moreover, a significant path was revealed from “stagnation of career exploration” (β = 0.30, p < 0.05) and “upward comparison of the careers of friends and acquaintances” (β = 0.28, p < 0.05) to “feeling of being pressurized,” from “upward comparison of the careers of friends and acquaintances” (β = 0.24, p < 0.05) to “urge to develop one’s career,” and from “upward comparison of the careers of friends and acquaintances” (β = 0.36, p < 0.001) to “feeling of being pressurized.”

Further, when the test statistic for the difference between the path coefficients was calculated, a value of 3.26 was revealed for the path from “stagnation of career exploration” to “concern for one’s career,” showing a significant difference between regular female employees and non-regular male employees.

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