Effects of Unemployment on Health in a Community Survey: Main, Modifying, and Mediating Effects

University of Michigan
Journal of Social Issues (Impact Factor: 1.96). 12/1987; 44(4):69 - 85. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.1988.tb02092.x

ABSTRACT Results from a community survey in a sample of high-unemployment census tracts in southeastern Michigan showed significant elevations of depression, anxiety, somatization, and self-reported physical illness among the currently unemployed. These adverse effects were largely reversed by reemployment. Subsequent analyses documented modifying effects of social support, self-concept, and coping. We also found two mediating processes that account for the overall effects of current unemployment: (a) the intervening effects of financial strain, and (b) an influence of unemployment in creating heightened vulnerability to other stressful life events. The implications of these results for the design and implementation of preventive interventions are briefly discussed.

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Available from: Blake Turner, Aug 03, 2015
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    • "Within this context, an important question involves the extent to which the economic downturn is associated with psychological distress and related outcomes. Prior work concerning the Great Depression and other economic downturns, for example, suggests that individuals who are unemployed or underemployed in tough economic times experience higher levels of depression and anxiety, as well as increased alcohol use, compared with those who are adequately employed (Catalano, 1991; Dooley and Prause, 1997; Elder, 1974; Kessler et al., 1988; Luoto et al., 1998; Montgomery et al., 1999). However, research in this tradition has tended to concentrate on the effects of unemployment alone, perhaps underestimating the full breadth of diffi cult exposure, psychological distress, and drinking patterns are related. "
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    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 09/2012; 73(5):811-9. DOI:10.15288/jsad.2012.73.811 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    • "Specifically, we surveyed unemployed men from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds after they recently lost their jobs and then again 3 months later. While there are several stressful life events associated with depression onset, we selected unemployment due to its prevalence in the general population, its association with depression onset, and its potential significance for men that highly value being a breadwinner (Kessler et al. 1988, 1989; Kimmel 1996; Turner 1995). Prior research has also shown that a negative attributional style was more strongly related to depressive symptoms following an ''important'' negative life event (Vázquez et al. 2001). "
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    • "The documented interrelationship between socioeconomic position, social capital and health suggests that social capital may mediate the impact of socioeconomic position on health. Previous research has demonstrated the importance of social networks and social support for the health outcomes of individuals (Berkman and Glass 2000, Kessler et al. 1988, Poortinga 2006, Szreter and Woolcock 2004). Some studies have indicated that elements of bridging social capital, such as neighbourhood contacts and trust, are also related to positive health outcomes at the individual and at the collective level (Kim and Kawachi 2007, Lindstro¨m 2007, Sundqvist and Yang 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the article is to examine whether and to what degree the unequal distribution of social capital in the population explains the relationship between socioeconomic position and health in Norway. Theoretical insight and empirical evidence seem to suggest that social capital mediates the effect of socioeconomic position on health outcomes. However, only a few studies have addressed this question and those that have done so have used few and simple indicators of social capital. This study is based on a nationwide cross-sectional survey (N = 3190) commissioned by Statistics Norway. The survey was designed to cover a comprehensive set of variables measuring different aspects of the theoretical construct of social capital. Two health outcomes, self-perceived health and longstanding illness, were analysed. The results showed that the mediating role of social capital between socioeconomic position and health was negligible for both health outcomes. After controlling for socio-demographic variables and socioeconomic position, only neighbourhood satisfaction and generalised trust showed a significant association with self-perceived health, whereas none of the social capital variables had any significant association with longstanding illness. Some theoretical and methodological implications of the results are discussed.
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