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with other family members following the economic loss. A parent's job
loss may influence a child's social development indirectly through events
such as divorce related to job loss.
Work Loss Circumstances and Self-Esteem
Self-esteem has been defined as the degree to which a person likes and
respects themselves measured against their perceived strengths, weak-
nesses, and ability to cope with life challenges. Frisch (1994b) noted that
a person tends to experience low self-esteem when they see failure in
themselves based upon their own standards in many valued QoL areas of
life, including work. Loss of meaningful work means a number of things
to a person, including how they define themselves. This includes how
they perceive the quality of how they spend most of their time.
Meaningful work includes the feeling of a sense of pride about their
duties associated with the job. The money that is earned and the people
with whom one works is a major standard against which a person mea-
sures their self-esteem.
An individual may feel very inadequate in losing or failing to find a
job. Loss of work represents a challenge to liking and respecting oneself
in light of perceived work-loss-related successes and failures, and ability
to obtain employment. Other key areas of life such as school, parenting,
and love relationships can be linked to this perceived failure experience
( Diener & Seligman, 2004 ). Vaillant (2002) found that the loss of work
can disrupt a displaced worker's life in other ways. This includes a lessen-
ing of overall mental, physical, and emotional health.
Work Loss Circumstances and Health
Linn, Sandifer, and Stein (1985) assessed the effects of involuntary unem-
ployment on the mental and physical health of middle-aged men who
became unemployed. The unemployed men reported more physician
visits, symptoms of somatization, depression, and anxiety than those who
continued to work.
Frisch (1994a,b) and others defined good health essentially as being
physically fit without pain, ailments, or disability as a domain of QoL.
Loss of work may cause a person to suffer from a loss in happiness due to
an increase in poor fitness and health habits, chronic illness or disability,
heart disease, poor mental health, or alcohol and drug abuse. It should be
noted that many displaced workers are able to successfully adapt to their
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