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Women Health. 2003;37(2):55-72.

A comparison of the mental health of employed and unemployed women in the context of a massive layoff.

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  • 1Centre for Nursing Studies, St. John's NF, Canada.


The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of unemployment on the mental health of women in the context of massive unemployment. Comparisons were made between the level of mental distress experienced by unemployed and employed women, in two areas of Newfoundland, Canada that were affected by the northern cod moratorium. In addition, the relationships between women's mental distress and a number of variables were explored. Questionnaires were administered to 112 unemployed and 112 employed women three years after the moratorium began. The unemployed women reported significantly poorer mental well-being in the year prior to data collection. At the time of the study, however, both groups of women were experiencing high levels of distress. The moratorium, financial problems, and feelings of uncertainty were identified as key stressors for all the women, but especially for those without work. Among the working women, past experience with unemployment and level of education had significant correlations with their mental well-being.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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