To examine the role of socioeconomic, sociodemographic, and social capital factors in buffering or exacerbating the mental health impacts of job loss.
A 2-year longitudinal cohort study of 300 workers experiencing job loss from a motoring manufacturer in Adelaide, South Australia. Data were collected on mental health (12-item version of the General Health Questionnaire) and socioeconomic, sociodemographic, and social capital factors. Analysis used linear mixed-effects regression.
Workers had poorer mental health than the general population. Female gender, less years at the plant, and not being partnered were associated with poorer mental health. The effects of financial status depended on current employment and levels of social support. Trust and social contact were associated with better mental health.
A number of socioeconomic, sociodemographic, and social capital factors influence mental health in workers experiencing job loss, offering clues on how to support workers.