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￿ Disengagement from helping activities because of a perceived lack of
time or motivation;
￿ Lacking the motivation to engage in learning activities because of a
lack of career goals;
￿ Feeling alienated from friends, relatives, and children because of
perceived inadequacy and interpersonal conflicts.
Because unemployment is a shared life event that affects people differ-
ently in various life domains, it is important to recognize the value in
better understanding how individuals, families, and numerous other sys-
tems might be affected during the economic downturn. Unemployment
situations can be plagued by a variety of complex reactions that are
unique to specific individuals and generic with respect to other QoL
domains ( Westman et al., 2004 ).
Relative to the recent economic downturn, both life satisfaction and
subjective well-being or feelings of happiness have gained increased attention
in the psychological and social sciences. Rollero and Tartaglia (2009) investi-
gated factors that addressed life satisfaction during the economic downturn.
Diener et al. (2006) and others cite subjective well-being or happiness as an
important concept that explains how people evaluate important personal
aspects of their lives. Individuals respond to the objective circumstances of
their economic adversity such as financial insecurity and unemployment in a
variety of predictable and objective ways. This might include how one will
pay the rent or the car note and their children's school tuition. Diener et al.
(2006) and others explain that life satisfaction is manifested in the cognitive
appraisal that one makes of the economic circumstances within the context
of all of the other aspects of one's life.
Subjective well-being or happiness is not just being cheerful and
content but comprises an intense personal experience of feeling in one's
life. The intensity of the experience is a dimension that does not separate
happiness from other aspects of the quality of life. For example, in the
event of job loss, subjective well-being or happiness is related to complex
non-rational dimensions such as love, close ties with the community, etc.,
but not necessarily with money, state of health, and other objective factors.
Elizur and Shye (1990) stated that subjective well-being or happiness
has often been differentiated from the broader concept of a quality working
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