The dark side of the economic transformation in Poland: The stress of unemployment
This paper reports on the impact of employment status, reactivity, and coping on immediate and long-term subjective well-being (SWB) outcomes. Outcomes investigated were subjective health (intensity of somatic symptoms), life satisfaction, and alienation. Three coping strategies were examined: Avoidance coping, Seeking Support, and Job Search. The study relied on a combination of cross-sectional and longitudinal designs. A longitudinal design was used to follow the unemployed participants from approximately 4–6 weeks after layoff to about three months after they stopped receiving unemployment compensation, i.e., for 10 months. Two reference groups included (1) the employed and (2) long-term unemployed (approx. 24 months) participants. In general, employed men reported better subjective health and less alienation than the moderate-term unemployed. Long-term unemployment was damaging for both men and women. Short-term SWB was determined by reactivity and coping. Support was not found for a relationship between reactivity and long-term SWB. Coping strategies were strong predictors of later deterioration of SWB. Post Scriptum -Polish criteria differ from those used in the EU and do not include persons who have not registered in Labor Offices. According to Polish legislation a person is eligible for unemployment compensation for the first six months after a layoff.
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