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The struggle is real: self-employment and short-term psychological distress

Shane W. Reid, Pankaj C. Patel and Marcus T. Wolfe

Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 2018, vol. 9, issue C, 128-136

Abstract: We test whether self-employed individuals report more short-term psychological distress compared to paid employees. The ability to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams could lead self-employed individuals to experience feelings of positive emotion, autonomy, and confidence that can lower short-term psychological distress. Yet, the significant demands of self-employment undertakings might also induce feelings of negative emotions, helplessness, and lack of control typically associated with increased short-term psychological distress. We investigate the relationship between self-employment and self-reported, short-term psychological distress using a sample of 171,883 respondents from the 1997–2015 cross-sectional surveys of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Results indicate that self-employment has a positive association with psychological distress. Findings are robust to matched-pair sampling and alternate measures of levels of psychological distress.

Keywords: Psychological distress; Self-employment; Well-being (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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