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shows that the economic downturn is a potentially long-term experience.
The consequences of sudden unemployment and long-term economic
inactivity can have serious and unpredictable QoL consequences for dis-
placed workers and families. For example, job loss and falling incomes
can force a family to delay or forgo education and training for themselves
or college for their children. Many families may neglect health screening
and dental care. In such cases, an economic recession can lead to what
has been described as “scarring.” Scarring has been explained as long-
lasting damage not only to an individuals' economic situation, but social,
physical, and emotional scarring can occur as well.
The New York Times editorial page reported in March, 2012 that the
job market started to show a slow trend of improvement but it is pre-
dicted that the US economy would require at least 5 years to regain its
previous status. This projection suggests that economic opportunities as
well as broader QoL outcome prospects for many job-displaced workers
will probably be permanently marred. Unemployment and income losses
can:
￿ Reduce educational achievement;
￿ Threaten early childhood nutrition;
￿ Reduce families' abilities to provide a supportive learning environment;
￿ Prevent adequate health care;
￿ Eliminate summer activities;
￿ Reduce stable housing;
￿ Cause the delay or abandonment of educational or college plans.
The article further reported that there was substantial evidence that
potential hardships resulting from the economic downturn will be passed
across generations. The economic hardships experienced by job-displaced
families will mean more than just enduring economic hurdles. It should
be recognized that there are effects upon social and emotional domains
that go far beyond the financial consequences of the economic downturn.
The lessons of the Great Depression have taught that a severe, sudden,
and long-term loss of work will result in reshaping the overall economic
and social fabric of society. Many QoL outcome issues will not be real-
ized until long after the economic damage has occurred.
For example, various aspects of the economic downturn are intercon-
nected and can impact future educational outcomes for children in a
variety of ways. A substantial body of literature recognizes that quality
early childhood education is primarily driven by parental options and
adequate funding ( Heckman & Masterov, 2007 ). Economic outcomes
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