Recurrent job loss and mental health among women

Orit Nuttman-Shwartz, Limor Gadot, Lea Kacen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Growing instability in the labor market has led to an increase in recurrent job loss, which primarily affects women (Tamir, 2007). Numerous studies have shown that job loss is a stressful, traumatic experience that has consequences for the individuals who are laid off. However, few studies have examined how recurrent job loss affects individuals. The present study of 134 Israeli women aged 30-45 years aimed to examine how recurrent job loss affected individual women's perceptions of the event and the extent to which it generated emotional stress and psychiatric symptoms. Most of the women perceived job loss as a challenging event and their assessments of job loss had a stronger impact on the development of mental health consequences than did the number of times they had actually been laid off. The more the women perceived job loss as threatening, the more they reported emotional stress and psychiatric symptoms. Conversely, the more they perceived job loss as challenging, the lower their levels of emotional stress. Never-married women were laid-off more, and they reported more mental health symptoms following recurrent job loss than did married women. The findings suggest that perception of job loss as a threatening event might cause mental health problems as results of lay-off.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-309
Number of pages16
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 11 Nov 2009


  • Job loss
  • Trauma
  • Unemployment
  • Women's employment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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