Job loss, unemployment, work stress, job satisfaction, and the persistence of posttraumatic stress disorder one year after the September 11 attacks

J Occup Environ Med. 2004 Oct;46(10):1057-64. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000141663.22902.0a.


The influence of unemployment and adverse work conditions on the course of psychopathology after a mass disaster is unclear. We recruited a representative sample of adults living in the New York City metropolitan area six months after the September 11 attacks and completed follow-up interviews on 71% of the baseline sample six months later (N = 1939). At follow-up, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) persisted in 42.7% of the 149 cases with PTSD at baseline. In multivariable models, unemployment at any time since baseline predicted PTSD persistence in the entire cohort (P = 0.02) and among persons employed at follow-up (P = 0.02). High levels of perceived work stress predicted PTSD persistence among persons employed at follow-up (P = 0.02). Persons unemployed in the aftermath of a disaster may be at risk for poor mental health in the long-term.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Probability
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terrorism / psychology*
  • Terrorism / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors
  • Unemployment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Health