Integrating models of marital functioning to understand the mental health consequences of the Great Recession
Ascigil, Esra and Selçuk, Emre and Günaydın, Gül and Ong, Anthony D. (2020) Integrating models of marital functioning to understand the mental health consequences of the Great Recession. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 37 (7). pp. 2118-2135. ISSN 0265-4075 (Print) 1460-3608 (Online)
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0265407520918938
It is well established that negative financial events during macroeconomic crises have a significant impact on individuals’ mental health. Much less is known about how and for whom economic crises impact mental health. Using data from the Midlife in the United States study, we examine the mental health impact of the Great Recession in the U.S. Drawing on predictions from the Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation Model of Marriage and the Family Stress Model, we examined whether increases in marital disagreements mediated the link between recession adversities (e.g., unemployment, increased debt, loss of a home) and mental health following the recession (2013–2014), controlling for prerecession marital disagreements and mental health (2004–2006). We found that those who experienced a greater number of recession adversities showed increased marital disagreements following the Great Recession, which were in turn associated with poorer mental health (negative affect and affective disorder). These associations held after controlling for prerecession levels of gender, age, race, and education. Further- more, those who had lower income before the recession experienced greater increases in negative affect following the recession. These findings highlight the importance of marital processes in how the Great Recession is linked to mental health.
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