Prolonged unemployment and depression in older workers: a longitudinal study of intervening variables

Soc Sci Med. 1987;25(2):173-8. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(87)90385-6.


In this study, unemployed blue-collar workers over the age of 45 (N = 51) filled out a questionnaire in 1975 and in 1977. It was shown that prolonged unemployment or re-unemployment leads to depression, reduced hope, and financial problems, although none of these factors leads to prolonged unemployment. Being employed or retired leads to a reduction of depression and financial problems. Problems associated with the daily hassles of unemployment, such as financial problems and disappointed hope play a role in the development of depression with prolonged unemployment. Potential third variables that could cause both unemployment and depression--such as internal/external control, passivity, sickness, and age--do not affect the effect of unemployment on depression.

MeSH terms

  • Depression / etiology*
  • Financing, Personal
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Unemployment*