Symposium 2953 - Psychological Aspects Of Job Loss And Unemployment – Is It Possible To Maintain A Good Mental Health After Job Loss?

Friday May 19   01:15 PM to 02:45 PM (1 hour 30 minutes)
Labor market issues
Psychological aspects of job loss and unemployment – Is it possible to maintain a good mental health after job loss?
K. Paul 1,*, A. Zechmann 1
1Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany
Main Abstract Content: State of the Art:
Even during favorable economic conditions, unemployment affects a significant minority of people (e.g., 2.8 Million Germans were unemployed in 2016, despite a low unemployment rate of 6.3%). In economically difficult times, unemployment regularly turns into a mass phenomenon that leaves hardly any part of the population unaffected (e.g. currently in Greece and South Africa with unemployment rates > 25%). Psychological research plays an important role in studying the effects of unemployment on mental health and health behavior (e.g. Paul & Moser, 2009), thus analyzing potentially serious threats to public health. However, it has not yet uncovered all aspects that explain why unemployment leads to distress.
New Perspectives/Contributions:
This symposium offers empirical tests of new theoretical explanations of why unemployed people suffer, highlighting the role of situational (e.g. mismatched values) and personal (e.g. locus of control) determinants of mental health. Studies on coping behavior test how to cope with unemployment and reemployment by use of situational (e.g. work experience) and personal (e.g. psychological capital) resources. Other research included here turns attention to risk groups such as young and long-term unemployed people. The use of longitudinal samples from five countries and two continents underscores the high methodological quality and cultural breadth of the research presented.
Research/Practical Implications: 
The studies propose new avenues for research on the mental health effects of unemployment and on successful coping with unemployment. They furthermore provide advice on how unemployed people can maintain good mental health despite the challenges associated with unemployment.


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