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Who will I be when I retire? The role of organizational commitment, group memberships and retirement transition framing on older worker’s anticipated identity change in retirement

Jolles, Daniel and Lamarche, Veronica M and Rolison, Jonathan J and Juanchich, Marie (2022) 'Who will I be when I retire? The role of organizational commitment, group memberships and retirement transition framing on older worker’s anticipated identity change in retirement.' Current Psychology. ISSN 1046-1310

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Abstract

Retirement is an eagerly awaited life transition for many older workers, but some may anticipate their exit from the workforce will result in loss of meaningful work-based activities and social interactions. For older workers more committed to their organization, retirement might represent a threat to maintaining a consistent, positive identity. Across three pre-registered studies of US adults aged 49 to 75, we investigated the relationship between organizational commitment and anticipated identity changes in retirement. Studies 1 and 2 (<jats:italic>N</jats:italic> = 1059) found that older workers largely anticipated positive changes to their identity in retirement. In Study 2, we divided older workers into two conditions and used a framing manipulation to present retirement as either a ‘role exit’ or a ‘role entry’. In the ‘role exit’ condition, older workers less committed to their organization anticipated more positive changes when they held more group memberships compared to those with fewer group memberships. Those in the ‘role entry’ condition anticipated significantly more positive changes to their identity in retirement than those in the ‘role exit’ condition, but did not anticipate more positive changes based on organizational commitment or group memberships. More group memberships, but not lower organizational commitment, was associated with more positive anticipation of identity changes in retirement. Study 3 (<jats:italic>N</jats:italic> = 215) surveyed older adults after they had retired, finding that identity changes experienced post-retirement were less positive than those anticipated by older workers. We discuss the theoretical and applied implications of these findings for older workers’ retirement decisions and wellbeing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aging workforce; Retirement; Identification; Work attitudes; Experimental design; Organizational commitment
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2022 10:53
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2022 14:39
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/32412

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