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Unemployment stress: Loss of control, reactance and learned helplessness

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  • Baum, Andrew
  • Fleming, Raymond
  • Reddy, Diane M.

Abstract

The present study was concerned with stress-related consequences of unemployment and the behavioral changes related to this experience of control loss. Subjects were sampled along a continuum of time since unemployment, including a control group of employed subjects. Results indicated evidence of stress responding among the unemployed subjects, measured as increased levels of urinary catecholamines and behavioral performance deficits. Further evidence is presented which analyzes subjects' attributions and behaviors in terms of the theories of reactance and learned helplessness. Results support a biphasic response to loss of control with reactance manifested at early stages of control loss and learned helplessness at later stages.

Suggested Citation

  • Baum, Andrew & Fleming, Raymond & Reddy, Diane M., 1986. "Unemployment stress: Loss of control, reactance and learned helplessness," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 509-516, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:22:y:1986:i:5:p:509-516
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    Cited by:

    1. Scholderer, Joachim & Grunert, Klaus G., 2005. "Consumers, food and convenience: The long way from resource constraints to actual consumption patterns," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 105-128, February.
    2. Theodossiou, I., 1998. "The effects of low-pay and unemployment on psychological well-being: A logistic regression approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 85-104, January.
    3. Linz, Susan J. & Semykina, Anastasia, 2008. "Attitudes and performance: An analysis of Russian workers," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 694-717, April.
    4. Bjornstad, Roger, 2006. "Learned helplessness, discouraged workers, and multiple unemployment equilibria," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 458-475, June.
    5. Jon D. Wisman & Aaron Pacitti, 2017. "Guaranteed Employment and Universal Child Care For a New Social Contract," Working Papers 2017-05, American University, Department of Economics.
    6. Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Veum, Jonathan R. & Darity, William Jr., 2000. "Working hard for the money? Efficiency wages and worker effort," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 351-385, August.
    7. Roger Bjørnstad, 2001. "Learned Helplessness, Discouraged Workers, and Multiple Unemployment Equilibria in a Search Model," Discussion Papers 303, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    8. Semykina, Anastasia & Linz, Susan J., 2007. "Gender differences in personality and earnings: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 387-410, June.
    9. Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Veum, Jonathan R. & William Darity, Jr., 1996. "The impact of labor force history on self-esteem and its component parts, anxiety, alienation and depression," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 183-220, April.
    10. Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Veum, Jonathan R. & Darity, William Jr., 1995. "Are being unemployed and being out of the labor force distinct states?: A psychological approach," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 275-295, July.
    11. Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Veum, Jonathan R. & Darity, William Jr., 1996. "The psychological impact of unemployment and joblessness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 333-358.

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