Symptoms of complicated grief and depression following job loss : Can engagement in non‐work activities bring relief?

The present study aimed to examine whether day‐level engagement in non‐work activities can mitigate the adverse outcomes of job loss. Based on Jahoda's latent deprivation model, we hypothesized that engaging in such activities (e.g., meeting others) can fulfil five basic needs (e.g., need for time structure) and that fulfilment of these needs mitigates the negative consequences of job loss. A diary study was conducted on five consecutive days among 236 participants who had involuntarily lost their job, yielding 1046 daily measures of the time spent on activities, the evaluation of these activities, and emotional distress. Multilevel regression analyses showed that time spent on daily activities was associated with the degree of fulfilment of the basic needs and emotional distress, yet the effect sizes were small. 


Perceived utility of these daily activities showed more solid effect sizes with the basic needs and emotional distress. However, the mediation effect of the basic needs regarding the association between activities and emotional distress could not
be confirmed. The present results suggest that, in addition to stimulating individuals who experience job loss‐related emotional distress to undertake certain activities, the evaluation of these activities should also be taken into account in tailor‐made interventions and preventive measures.


Janske H. W. van Eersel, Toon W. Taris, Paul A. Boelen | 2022
In: Stress & Health ; ISSN: 1532-2998
Online ahead of print, doi: 10.1002/smi.3209
Affected Populations, Assessment, Bereavement, Depressive Disorders, Diagnosis, Effects, Emotional States, Job Satisfaction, Loss, Prolonged Grief Disorder, Quality of Life, Research, Statistical Analysis, Stressors, Unemployment
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