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Am J Community Psychol. 1991 Aug;19(4):521-42.

Factors facilitating adjustment to unemployment: implications for intervention.

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Florida State University.


Conducted a community survey in the Fall of 1984 in a sample of high unemployment blue-collar census tracts in southeastern Michigan. Results of earlier analyses using these data showed that involuntarily unemployed workers had significantly elevated levels of depression, anxiety, somatization, and self-reported physical illness relative to a stably employed comparison group (Kessler, House, & Turner, 1987). Results presented in this paper document that this relationship is modified by social support (as measured by social integration and the availability of a confidant), self-concept, and various coping processes. Further analyses allowed us to determine the way in which these modifiers operate. The modifying effects of social support and coping operate primarily by buffering the impact of unemployment-related financial strain on the health outcomes. Self-concept operates primarily by attenuating vulnerability to other stressful life events. The implications of these results for the design and implementation of preventive interventions are discussed.

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