Abstract: School‐to‐work transition research has persistently provided empirical evidence for the theoretical predictions of human capital, signaling, and credentialing, thereby emphasizing the importance of school performance and degree attainment for labor market entries. However, hitherto, research in this tradition has paid less attention to noncognitive and socioemotional factors. We address this gap by analyzing the influence of mental and physical health, coping abilities, cooperativeness, and work commitment on the transition from apprenticeship training to first job. For this purpose, this study draws on a unique dataset of 1,061 individuals from Germany, combining rich survey (i.e., information concerning baseline health, personality disorders, and work attitudes) and register (i.e., labor market information) data. The results of linear probability models reveal that only physical health is associated with finding a first job within six months. Physical and mental health are associated with a smooth transition into the labor market, i.e., a situation in which an individual transitions into regular employment without any job search gaps. Overall health and coping abilities are important to finding decent employment. However, after taking important preselection variables (i.e., educational outcomes and training firm characteristics) into account, these associations are weakened and become statistically nonsignificant. Overall, this study provides evidence that health and personality disorders have the potential to induce inequality at an important life course stage.
Keywords: anxiety and depression; apprenticeship; cooperativeness; coping; health; school‐to‐work transition; SF‐12; work commitment