Work and sense of coherence--resources for competence and life satisfaction

Behav Med. Summer 1990;16(2):76-89. doi: 10.1080/08964289.1990.9934595.


This longitudinal study investigated which job factors and personal resources contribute to self-assessed competence and life satisfaction. The effects of preemployment social conditions and personality, as assessed in adolescence, on competence and life satisfaction in adulthood were studied in 345 women and 361 men who had participated in a 1961 to 1963 psychological examination. Persons with high life satisfaction and competence had favorable work conditions and more personal resources and social support. Their coping strategies were primarily problem focused, whereas those with less sense of well-being were emotion focused. Persons of low competence who were satisfied with their lives had social support from others, cooperation, and prestige at work, but their income was low. The quality of home care, sports participation, and self-esteem in youth predicted competence in adulthood. The quality of home care, intelligence, cultural activities, and self-esteem in adolescence predicted adult life satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Personality Development
  • Social Environment
  • Social Support