Social support, Social Undermining, and Coping in Underemployed and Unemployed Persons
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A sample of 171 participants (94 unemployed and 77 underemployed) was administered scales tapping social support, social undermining, coping and psychological distress. It was hypothesised (a) that the unemployed would exhibit less social support, but more social undermining and psychological distress than the underemployed group; (b) that females would report more social support but less social undermining than males; and (c) that social support would be a better predictor of coping than social undermining, but that social undermining would be a better predictor of psychological distress than social support. It was found that the unemployed reported less social support, more psychological distress and less problem-focused coping than the underemployed. Males reported less social support but more emotion-focused coping than females. Social support was a significant individual predictor for both psychological distress and rational/cognitive coping, but not of self-care coping. No group or gender differences were identified for social undermining, and social undermining was not a significant predictor of psychological distress or coping. The role of social undermining in well-being in unemployed people is discussed. Practical suggestions are outlined.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
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