The Moderating Effect of Social Support and Social Integration on the Relationship Between Involuntary Job Loss and Health

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Background: Job loss is a stressful life event that is associated with changes in somatic, behavioral, and affective well-being. This cohort study investigates whether social support and social integration moderate the relationship between job loss and mental health.

Methods:Data from four waves of the Americans? Changing Lives data set were collapsed into three wave-pairs. Our sample comprised 1,474 observations, from which we identified 120 job losses. We applied longitudinal regression models in benchmark moderation analysis; finite mixture modeling was then applied to investigate complex heterogeneity.

Results: Our findings suggest that social support, and not social integration, buffered the involuntary job loss-depressive symptoms relationship among a subgroup of individuals who were more likely to be White, higher educated, and have higher social support prior to job loss.

Conclusion: Policies that incentivize education, promote financial and health literacy, and strengthen families may reduce vulnerability to the mental health effects of job loss.

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Journal of Applied Gerontology



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Pre-print, post-print

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