The persistence of depressive symptoms in older workers who experience involuntary job loss: results from the health and retirement survey.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVES:The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between involuntary job loss among workers nearing retirement and long-term changes in depressive symptoms. METHODS:Analyzing data from the first four waves (1992-1998) of the Health and Retirement Survey, we used longitudinal multiple regression in order to assess whether involuntary job loss between Wave 1 and Wave 2 was associated with depressive symptoms at Wave 3 and Wave 4. The study sample included 231 workers who had experienced job loss in the Wave 1-Wave 2 interval and a comparison group of 3,324 nondisplaced individuals. We analyzed the effect of job loss on depressive symptoms both in the full study sample and in subsamples determined by wealth. RESULTS:Among individuals with below median net worth, Wave 1-Wave 2 involuntary job loss was associated with increased depressive symptoms at Wave 3 and Wave 4. We found no effect of involuntary job loss for high net worth individuals at the later survey waves. DISCUSSION:Our findings identify older workers with limited wealth as an important group for which the potential effect of involuntary job separation in the years preceding retirement is ongoing (enduring) adverse mental health.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Gallo, WT; Bradley, EH; Dubin, JA; Jones, RN; Falba, TA; Teng, H-M; Kasl, SV

Published Date

  • July 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 61 / 4

Start / End Page

  • S221 - S228

PubMed ID

  • 16855043

Pubmed Central ID

  • 16855043

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1758-5368

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1079-5014

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/geronb/61.4.s221


  • eng