A longitudinal study of social support and depression in unemployed men

Psychol Med. 1987 May;17(2):453-60. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700025010.


Interviews were conducted with 49 men just after they had become unemployed, and with a matched sample of 49 employed men. Follow-up interviews took place 6-8 months later. At follow-up 20 originally unemployed men were still without work, and were significantly more depressed than the employed. Five of these 20, but no employed men, had become clinically depressed. In a multiple regression analysis there was a significant employment X social support interaction which indicated that depression scores at follow-up were higher in those who remained unemployed and who had little social contact with others in the month before losing their jobs. Depression becomes likely when people lose a source of social interaction that is important to their sense of worth, and have no alternative means of experiencing this worth in other relationships.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Support*
  • Unemployment*