Links in the chain of adversity following job loss: how financial strain and loss of personal control lead to depression, impaired functioning, and poor health

J Occup Health Psychol. 2002 Oct;7(4):302-312. doi: 10.1037//1076-8998.7.4.302.


The authors tested hypotheses concerning risk mechanisms that follow involuntary job loss resulting in depression and the link between depression and poor health and functioning. A 2-year longitudinal study of 756 people experiencing job loss indicates that the critical mediating mechanisms in the chain of adversity from job loss to poor health and functioning are financial strain (FS) and a reduction in personal control (PC). FS mediates the relationship of job loss with depression and PC, whereas reduced PC mediates the adverse impacts of FS and depression on poor functioning and self-reports of poor health. Results suggest that loss of PC is a pathway through which economic adversity is transformed into chronic problems of poor health and impaired role and emotional functioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unemployment*