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date: 25 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The detrimental effects of job loss and unemployment are not limited to the unemployed worker but ripple out to affect those closest to him or her. These ripple effects most notably impact the unemployed worker’s family, including a spouse or partner and/or children. In this chapter, we summarize previous research related to the impacts on marital or partner relationships and families and the particular effects of unemployment on children. For couples and families, we explore the financial or economic stressors and strain brought about by job loss; the direct, crossover, and relationship quality effects of stress and reduced mental health among unemployed workers and their spouses; protective resources for coping with job loss, such as social support and family resilience; and the social roles and identity of the unemployed worker. For children, we focus on mental health, child development, and educational/human capital attainment. We then offer suggestions for future research on families facing unemployment.

Keywords: unemployment, job loss, families, children, marriage, relationship quality, financial strain, identity, roles

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