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due to the real estate and foreclosure crisis. Because of the large decline
in housing wealth, minorities have less housing equity available to help
pay for college expenses. Home equity allows parents to fund college
expenses, but since a loss of home equity disproportionately affects
minorities, this group will also be less likely to achieve higher education.
It is fair to say that workers and families have been impacted by significant
work-related changes, including mass layoffs and involuntary job displace-
ment through shutdowns. Better planning and working alliances are
needed to assist displaced workers from diverse backgrounds to adapt to
job loss and thereby reduce the disproportionate stress in those families.
While these policies have helped displaced workers adjust to involuntary
joblessness, there is still a need for social support that helps minimize the
damage to them. Workers and families can be more dramatically impacted
when single-parent families have become jobless and are dependent on
government assistance. It is also in the best interest of the whole society
that businesses, organizations, and the government form collaborations
and alliances that address the long-term needs and well-being of displaced
This chapter focused on the long-term effects of involuntary unem-
ployment on children. Not only does unemployment affect children
during their childhood, but children who face parental unemployment
have been shown to experience decreased earnings as adults. According
to many findings, African Americans and other minorities have dispro-
portionally lost more wealth and educational opportunities, due to the
large decline in housing equity. For many of those families, home equity
was the only money available to help pay for college expenses.
Economic downturns are not unlikely occurrences, and it will be
necessary to prepare for the future by providing tools to protect people
from adverse effects of booms and busts in the economy. Mallinckrodt
and Bennett (1992) found that, during an economic downturn, displaced
workers are often likely to develop problems that could influence their
long-term physical or mental health. For example, those affected workers
normally report loss of self-esteem and locus of control, and this increases
the likelihood that those workers will become depressed. The depression
itself could signal the beginning of deterioration in health and well-being
over time. During an economic downturn, supportive relationships are
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