Stress perçu et stress post-traumatique après un licenciement
The aim of the present study was (1) to explore post traumatic reactions and perceived stress after job loss, differentiating the unemployed from people who were involuntary laid off, and (2) to study the effect of the time between our measurement and the notification of the involuntary job loss, on later symptomatic manifestations.
Method and measures
Psychological reactions after job loss were assessed with the Perceiced Stress Scale (PSS14) and the PTSD traumatic Check list Scale (PCLS) dedicated to measure the participants’ significant suffering score and three psycho traumatic reactions: (1) recollections relative to the traumatic event, (2) avoidant behaviors, and (3) hyperactivity.
The scores of the PSS and the PCLS of 64 laid off participants were compared with those of 23 unemployed participants (for another reason than involuntary job loss). Scores on the PCLS of our involuntary laid off participants were compared with those obtained by Yao et al. with patients suffering from non traumatic anxious disorders (phobias, OCD) or from ESPT after an accident or an aggression.
The degree of perceived stress does not significantly differ between unemployed and laid-off subjects. On the other hand, unemployed subjects scored lower on the four sub-scores of the PCLS than laid-off subjects, who themselves scored higher than subjects suffering from anxious disorders but, significantly lower than those suffering from ESPT. The psychotraumatic manifestations are maximal in the three months following the notification of the layoff, decrease during the second period and, increase again after twelve months. A treatment of cognitive restructuration, focused on cognitions specific to the ESPT as a therapeutic indication, is finally discussed.