The current study contributes to the literature on job insecurity by highlighting threat to the benefits of work as an explanation of the effect of job insecurity on health complaints. Building on the latent deprivation model, we predicted that threats to both manifest (i.e., financial income) and latent benefits of work (i.e., collective purpose, social contacts, status, time structure, activity) mediate the relationships from job insecurity to subsequent mental and physical health complaints. In addition, in line with the conservation of resources theory, we proposed that financial resources buffer the indirect effect of job insecurity on health complaints through threat to the manifest benefit. Hypotheses were tested using a multilevel design, in which 3 measurements (time lag of 6 months between subsequent measurements) were clustered within 1,994 employees (in Flanders, Belgium). This allowed for the investigation of within-person processes, while controlling for variance at the between-person level. The results demonstrate that job insecurity was related to subsequent threats to both manifest and latent benefits, and that these threats in turn were related to subsequent health complaints (with an exception for threat to the manifest benefit that did not predict mental health complaints). Three significant indirect effects were found: threat to the latent benefits mediated the relationships between job insecurity and both mental and physical health complaints, and threat to the manifest benefit mediated the relationship between job insecurity and physical health complaints. Unexpectedly, the latter indirect effect was exacerbated by financial resources.
- job insecurity
- latent deprivation model
- financial resources
- mental and physical health complaints
- multilevel mediation analysis