Exploring Young Offenders’ Conceptions of Meaningful Employment

Oswald, Rebecca (2023) Exploring Young Offenders’ Conceptions of Meaningful Employment. Trends in Psychology, 31 (1). pp. 50-74. ISSN 2358-1883

Manuscript (final approved).pdf - Accepted Version

Download (469kB) | Preview
Text (Advance online version)
Oswald2021_Article_ExploringYoungOffendersConcept.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (707kB) | Preview
Text (Final published version)
s43076-021-00131-w.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (684kB) | Preview
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s43076-021-00131-w


Experiencing meaningfulness at work is important for employee engagement, individual performance, and personal fulfilment. However, research surrounding meaningful employment has predominantly focused upon the experiences of well-educated, adult professionals. To expand theoretical understanding of this concept, this paper investigates perceptions of meaningful employment among youths from Northern England (aged 16-18) with a history of involvement in crime. Interviews demonstrate that young offenders’ criteria for ‘meaningful work’ differs from existing research and is influenced by their self-concept and inherent values as youths from chaotic and impoverished backgrounds. This highlights the subjectivity of this concept. Nonetheless, the findings also indicate that there are instances where work itself makes a broader contribution in discovering meaning, and therefore certain organisational practices are experienced as meaningful by both young offenders and adult professionals. Thus, this study demonstrates the importance of surveying diverse populations to reach a more comprehensive understanding of meaningful employment.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was supported by the award of a Northumbria University PhD Scholarship.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Meaningful employment; youth; young offender; UK
Subjects: L400 Social Policy
L500 Social Work
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2021 16:13
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2023 14:30
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/47948

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics