Parental unemployment causes depression and anxiety in children, study finds

The precariousness of employment in Spain is worrying and the high unemployment rate is a reality that affects many families. This situation creates serious social and economic problems and therefore also affects the well-being of people and their emotional balance.

A study by the American Psychological Association (APA), conducted by Paul and Moser in 2009, showed that the unemployed are twice as likely to suffer from psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, psychosomatic symptoms, well – psychological being and self-poverty. -valued.

Now not only are the unemployed suffering from this dramatic situation, but scientific evidence suggests that children of unemployed parents are also at higher risk for mental health problems. In this article, we tell you.

Psychological problems linked to unemployment

Work and well-being are intimately linked, because our profession, if we feel fulfilled there, can be a very important aspect of our happiness. Having a job is necessary in order to be able to live with the minimum of guarantees and with dignity, and feeling financially calm also has a great effect on our self-esteem and our emotional balance.

Losing a job is a delicate situation because it destabilizes us and forces us to look for work; however, being unemployed for a long time causes serious problems in our lives and in the lives of our families and the consequences can be dramatic.

At the psychosocial level, the person can suffer from what is called invisibility syndrome, Because the individual feels unsuited to the socio-economic system and may be convinced that others do not see him, that he is not bringing what he should bring to society. The individual perceives that he is not part of the social system and that he rejects it. A thought that in many cases can be objective.

Unemployment and its relation to anxiety, depression and suicide

Likewise, the individual feels confused and lost, coming to experience learned helplessness, and does not find meaning in his life. Not only does he lose his professional identity, but his overall work identity is an important factor in stability and self-esteem. This causes an existential crisis, and the person does not know which way to go, they stagnate, and it can become a vicious cycle that gradually undermines their morale and affects their self-esteem in a negative way.

Finally, his self-confidence is also affected as he feels unable to work, And you may come to believe that this is why you are not hired (even in structural unemployment). In fact, guilt can invade whatever the causes of the unemployment situation.

Anxiety from the first months of unemployment can lead to a depressive situation after several months of frustration in the job search. Scientific studies claim that there is a correlation between increasing suicide rates and high unemployment rates, and a 2009 study, which was conducted in 54 countries, concludes that the suicide rate has increased by 3 , 3% in the year following the bank crash of 2008. There appear to be gender differences in this context, as the vast majority of suicides were men, as explained in other research published by the BMJ.

Children also suffer from their parents’ unemployment situation

The consequences of unemployment do not only affect the person in this situation, but the family environment also experiences this dramatic scenario in its own flesh. In many cases, divorces are a consequence of this fact, and men are said to be the most affected, according to a study by researchers at Ohio State University.

Children are also victims of parents not working. Economic problems, divorce and many other family difficulties arising from this issue directly affect them. According to a study by the University of Zaragoza, children of unemployed parents are more likely to suffer from depression, in particular they have a 56% chance of developing disorders such as anxiety or depression.

These results are the result of a study involving 6,000 European children aged 2 to 9 and were carried out over three years in Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Spain. Sweden. These results were published in the scientific journal European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

As the ABC journal explains, the results also identified four risk factors, that is, family situations that increase the risk of suffering from psychological problems:

  • Families with a poor social support network
  • immigrant families
  • “Non-traditional” families (in which the children did not live with either of their parents)
  • Unemployed parents

The first three types of family can cause children to develop psychosocial pathologies such as stress, depression or anxiety with a 30% higher probability. however, children are 56% likely to develop psychological and / or emotional problems if parents are unemployed.

You don’t have a job? What to do …

With the unemployment rate in Spain approaching 20%, many families suffer from the consequences of unemployment. Job search is a difficult situation that can demoralize an individual. This is why we have prepared an article so that you can benefit from the advice provided by different professionals.

  • If you are unemployed and want to find a job, we invite you to read our article: “I don’t have a job: 7 expert tips to find it”

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