Research Publications

The Mutuality and Reciprocity Lab is committed to producing high quality research that makes meaningful contributions to the literature on employee-employer relationships from a theoretical, methodological, and practical point of view. Below you can find our 2015 publications. Enjoy the read!



Assessing the experience of unemployment and its associated coping strategies: Grasping context-specific details using Photovoice.  

Griep, Y., Baillien, E., Ysebaert, I., & De Witte, H. (Romanian Journal of Applied Psychology, 2015).

Despite the significant contributions made by previous unemployment studies, we aim to further unravel the complex reality of being unemployed. To do so, we introduce Photovoice to grasp the experience of unemployment and its coping strategies from the perspective of the unemployed. We used a phenomenological approach to analyze the photographical data from this Photovoice project. Participants mainly conveyed financial problems associated with unemployment. In terms of coping strategies, participants mainly relied on emotion-focused strategies in which they combined personal and social resources to offset the negative effects of unemployment. Our findings supported and expounded the latent deprivation and agency restriction theory used in unemployment research.

Keywords: Unemployment, Experience of unemployment, Coping, Photovoice


Voluntary work and the relationship with unemployment, health, and well-being. A two-year follow-up study contrasting a materialistic and psychosocial pathway perspective. 

Griep, Y., Hyde, M., Vantilborgh, T., Bidee, J., De Witte, H., & Pepermans, R. (Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 2015).

In the present paper we contrast materialistic (i.e., income and economic inequality) and psychosocial (i.e., social circumstances) pathway perspectives on whether volunteering whilst being unemployed mitigates the well-documented negative effects of unemployment on health, health behaviors and well-being. We test our hypotheses using data from the 2010 and 2012 waves of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Study of Health (SLOSH) (N = 717). This is a nationally representative, longitudinal, cohort survey. We compared groups of individuals who were 1) unemployed and volunteering during both SLOSH waves (N = 58), 2) unemployed and not volunteering during both SLOSH waves (N = 194), 3) employed and volunteering during both SLOSH waves (N = 139), and 4) employed and not volunteering during both SLOSH waves (N = 326). Conducting a path analysis in Mplus, we examined the interaction effects between labor market status (i.e., employed or unemployed) and voluntary work (i.e., volunteering or not) when predicting changes in health, health behaviors and psychological well-being. Our results indicate that volunteering during unemployment significantly decreased the likelihood to smoke, the amount of cigarettes smoked, the likelihood of consuming alcohol and the likelihood of being diagnosed with hypertension. These results support a psychosocial pathway perspective. For all other indicators no such buffering interaction effect was obtained, thereby supporting a materialistic pathway perspective. Nevertheless for some indicators volunteering was found to be beneficial for both the unemployed and employed. Consequently, integrating both perspectives might offer a better explanation for the onset of ill-health and ill-being.

Keywords: unemployment, volunteering, health and well-being, follow-up study, Sweden