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Inequality and the association between involuntary job loss and depressive symptoms

  • Berchick, Edward R.
  • Gallo, William T.
  • Maralani, Vida
  • Kasl, Stanislav V.
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    Although socioeconomic status (SES) has been to shown to be associated with susceptibility to involuntary job loss as well as with health, the ways in which individual SES indicators may moderate the job loss-health association remain underexplored. Using data from the Americans' Changing Lives study, we estimate the ways in which the association between job loss and depressive symptoms depends on five aspects of SES: education, income, occupational prestige, wealth, and homeownership. Our findings indicate that higher SES prior to job loss is not uniformly associated with fewer depressive symptoms. Higher education and lower prestige appear to buffer the health impacts of job loss, while financial indicators do not. These results have a number of implications for understanding the multidimensional role that social inequality plays in shaping the health effects of job loss.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 10 ()
    Pages: 1891-1894

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:10:p:1891-1894
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    1. McDonough, Peggy & Amick, Benjamin C., 2001. "The social context of health selection: a longitudinal study of health and employment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 135-145, July.
    2. Burgard, Sarah A. & Brand, Jennie E. & House, James S., 2009. "Perceived job insecurity and worker health in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 777-785, September.
    3. Lynch, J. W. & Kaplan, G. A. & Salonen, J. T., 1997. "Why do poor people behave poorly? Variation in adult health behaviours and psychosocial characteristics by stages of the socioeconomic lifecourse," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 809-819, March.
    4. Strully, Kate, 2009. "Racial-ethnic disparities in health and the labor market: Losing and leaving jobs," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 768-776, September.
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