The mental health consequences of the economic crisis in Europe among the employed, the unemployed, and the non-employed

Soc Sci Res. 2015 Nov:54:263-88. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2015.08.003. Epub 2015 Aug 28.


Applying a multi-level framework to the data from the European Social Survey's Round 3 (2006) and Round 6 (2012), we assessed the crisis by increases in rates of unemployment, while also controlling for countries' pre-crisis economic conditions. We found a positive relationship between depression and an increase in national unemployment rates. This relationship can be only partly ascribed to an increase in the number of unemployed and those employed in nonstandard job conditions-with the exception of the self-employed and women working part-time. The crisis effect is more pronounced among men and those between 35 and 49years of age. Moreover, in strongly effected countries, the crisis has changed the relationship between part-time work and depression, between depression and certain subcategories of the unemployed (looking for a job or not looking), and between depression and the non-employed.

Keywords: Depressive feelings; Economic crisis; Employment conditions; Europe; Gender and age differences; Non-employment; Unemployment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Economic Recession*
  • Employment
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Unemployment*
  • Work
  • Young Adult