Examining the Psychology of Working Theory: Decent Work Among Sexual Minorities

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Research has found heterosexist discrimination negatively relates to vocational outcomes among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people, but no known study has examined how heterosexist discrimination relates to the attainment of decent work. Building from the Psychology of Working Theory, which proposes that specific forms of marginalization coupled with economic constraints limit a person’s ability to secure decent work, the present study examined theoretically hypothesized pathways to decent work among a sample of employed sexual minority adults. Heterosexist discrimination and social class were examined as direct predictors of decent work, and indirect links were examined via work volition and career adaptability. Among our sample of 218 sexual minority people, structural equation modeling results suggested heterosexist discrimination and social class directly—and indirectly through work volition—predicted decent work. Practical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

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