Navigation Links
Parents Aren't Only Ones Who Feel Stress of Unemployment
Date:3/25/2010

Joblessness also affects children's health and well-being, experts say

THURSDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- With nearly 10 percent of the nation's workforce unemployed, the emotional impact of a job loss is well-known to millions of Americans. But the psychological fallout can be equally tough for their children.

Children living in homes where at least one parent is jobless potentially face a range of emotional issues -- from stress and depression to poor school performance and behavioral problems. What's more, the lower standard of living and loss of health insurance often lead to poor health for many of these children, experts said.

"Whenever there's a downturn, it's the kids who suffer a significant burden," said Dr. Christopher Bellonci, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. "When families are doing well, they can buffer some of this stress. When they can't, it bleeds through to the kids."

Nationally, one in seven children (10.5 million kids) has an unemployed parent, said Dr. Audrey Walker, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Children's Hospital of Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

In a recent CBS News/New York Times poll of more than 700 unemployed adults, nearly half of those who reported being unemployed for six months or more said their children's lives had changed; nearly 40 percent said they had noticed changes in their children's behavior.

For children raised in comfortable middle-class families, this may be their first taste of hardship. For those who come from already disadvantaged homes, the further loss of income means even greater stress. Basic staples like food, clothing and school supplies begin to diminish. Long-term unemployment can mean public assistance for a family that has never struggled economically or force it to move far away, according to Ariel Kalil, a professor and developmental psychologist at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy Studies.

"Typically, people formerly thought of job losses as happening mostly to low-income families," said Kalil, who has studied the issue. "What is important about the present recession is how many middle-class and upper middle-class families have lost jobs and are experiencing economic insecurity. That kind of unexpected shock can have psychological effects on parents that can trickle down to kids."

Unexplained anger and anxiousness are common signs of emotional distress in children, said Marta Flaum, a child psychologist from Chappaqua, N.Y. Rapid changes in social behaviors, including aggressive acts, and school performance are signs as well. Pre-teens and teens may be the most affected because they are more aware of what's going on around them and feel the social consequences of unemployment more acutely. There's less money for extracurricular activities, and their home life may be upended.

To help children emotionally withstand the financial downturn, Walker and other experts offered several tips for parents:

  • Talk with your children about the new reality in your family, but try not to communicate panic. Be hopeful and reassuring as best you can.
  • Listen to your children.
  • Watch for signs of anxiety, worries and fears; some of them may be subtle.
  • If you sense a problem, talk to your child's teacher first. If it's a serious problem, seek psychological help.
  • If your marriage is struggling, try to make it better. Marital discord adds to a child's strain.
  • If you or your partner is experiencing excessive anxiety or depression, get help.

One unemployed parent who took these tips to heart is Colin Fox of Brewster, N.Y. Fox was laid off from his job in internal communications in 2008. His wife, Sue, still works, but their two teenage boys know that life is not the same anymore.

"We talk to them, and they seem to understand that money is tighter," said Fox, who is using his layoff as an opportunity to pursue a career in occupational therapy. "But my 16-year-old son, Brian, is worried about his college expenses. He was always aware how expensive college is. Now, he really understands."

More information

The National Institute of Mental Health has more on child and adolescent emotional health issues.



SOURCES: Christopher Bellonci, M.D., assistant professor, psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston; Audrey Walker, M.D., director, child and adolescent psychiatry, Children's Hospital of Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Ariel Kalil, Ph.D., professor, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago; Marta Flaum, Ph.D., child psychologist, Chappaqua, N.Y.; Colin Fox, Brewster, N.Y.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Children Likelier to See Dentist if Parents Go Too
2. Distance education for parents of children with autism found effective
3. Children more likely to visit the dentist if their parents do too
4. Most parents dont realize their 4 or 5 year-olds are overweight or obese
5. Kids Use of Alternative Therapies Often Mimics Parents
6. Announcing the Launch of a New Workshop and Forum for Parents of Disabled Children
7. Remuda Ranch, Programs for Eating and Anxiety Disorders, and MASK (Mothers Awareness on School-Age Kids), Partner to Help Educate Parents, Teachers and Students About Eating Disorders
8. School Support Lacking for Emotional, Behavioral Issues, say Parents
9. Parents Not Taking Concussions Seriously Enough
10. Book Offers Help for Parents Struggling with Difficult Teens During the Upcoming Holidays
11. Parents Encourage Underage Drinking
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... for qualifying into the Senior International Elite division on February 12th. Ms. ... Around divisions at the elite qualifier competition held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Frida ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... Department of Justice jointly issued a letter to withdraw previous guidance ... with their gender identity. The guidance issued in May 2016 by the Obama ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Rare Disease Report®, ... be participating in Rare Disease Day events, hosted by the Rare Disease Legislative ... Report, a website, weekly e-newsletter and quarterly publication, will be conducting interviews with ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... Hamlin Dental ... announce that they are sponsoring a raffle. Throughout the month of February, patients who ... receive a gift card for a dinner for two at the Cheesecake Factory. ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... On April 13, 2017, ... “Doping in Sport: How the Culture Might Change,” in conjunction with ... symposium will be held at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. , Sir Philip ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Following receiving CE Marking in Europe ... AMAR is a major milestone for the country where the device was developed ... market in Israel   ... inclusion in the National Health Basket , Israel , ... E-QURE Corp. (OTCQB: EQUR), a leader in medical devices for the treatment of advanced wound ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. ... The Global Empty Capsules Market is poised to grow at a ... billion by 2025. This industry report analyzes the market ... as regional levels presented in the research scope. The study provides historical ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017 Physician General ... Drug and Alcohol Programs Jennifer Smith commended ... providing training for and using naloxone, a life-saving overdose ... McCullough , a recovery specialist and overdose survivor who ... EMS providers. "A significant part of fighting ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: