Factors Affecting the Psychological Distress among Turkish Midlife White-Collar Unemployed in the Covid-19 Period


JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SERVICE RESEARCH, vol.48, no.2, pp.200-213, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/01488376.2021.2002231
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, IBZ Online, Periodicals Index Online, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.200-213
  • Keywords: Social support, coping, psychological distress, midlife, unemployed, Covid-19, MENTAL-HEALTH, SOCIAL SUPPORT, JOB LOSS, MULTIDIMENSIONAL SCALE, LIFE SATISFACTION, EMPLOYMENT, STRESS, IMPACT
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This study aimed to examine the relationship between coping strategies, financial difficulties, social support, and psychological stress levels among Turkish midlife white-collar unemployed people in the Covid-19 period. The cross-sectional design and convenience sampling (consisting of 111 unemployed participants) were used in the study. Findings revealed that psychological distress is moderately high for this group of unemployed people. Planning, acceptance, and active coping were the most frequently used problem-focused coping strategies, and self-distraction, self-blame, and venting were the most frequently used emotion-focused coping strategies reported by participants. Significant correlations were found among the participants' psychological distress, problem-focused coping strategies, social support, financial strain, and sociodemographic characteristics. Higher duration of unemployment, financial difficulties and emotional-focused coping were associated with high psychological stress. On the other hand, older age, increased social support, and problem-focused coping were associated with lower psychological stress levels. These findings provide insight for a future practice involving the development of job loss interventions. The focus should be on identifying individuals at risk based on their characteristics, such as becoming relatively younger, unemployed for a longer time, having limited or no social support, a low level of personal coping resources, and inadequate financial resources. These interventions should seek to engage their social support network, bolster problem-focused coping strategies and financial resources. Future research should be conducted in longitudinal design and different cultures to reveal the change of variables over time and the difference according to cultures.