Unemployment and the mental health of Newfoundland women affected by the fishery closure

Murray, Cynthia Lynn (2000) Unemployment and the mental health of Newfoundland women affected by the fishery closure. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This study was part of a larger interdisciplinary Eco-Research program entitled "Sustainability in a Changing Cold-Ocean Coastal Environment", which assessed the impact of the fishery closure on various aspects of individuals and communities in coastal Newfoundland. The purpose of this study was to compare the level of mental distress experienced by unemployed and employed women, in two areas of Newfoundland that were affected by the northern cod moratorium. In addition, the relationships between women's mental distress and a number of variables, which included having a partner, age, level of education, number of children under 16 years of age, partner's employment status, and history and duration of unemployment, were explored. The sample consisted of women between the ages of 25 and 64, who were unemployed (n = 112) and employed (n = 112). Data were collected in the spring of 1995, three years after the moratorium began. Demographic data were collected using the Eco-Research Health Survey (ERHS), which was used in the health component of the study to assess the health status of the participants. Mental distress was measured using the abbreviated 28 item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ28). The findings showed that the unemployed women reported significantly poorer mental well-being in the year prior to data collection as compared to their employed counterparts. At the time of the study, however, the stress levels of the unemployed and employed women were similar, with both groups of women experiencing high levels of distress. The moratorium, financial problems, and feelings of uncertainty were identified as key stressors for all the women, but especially for those without work. It is proposed that although employment can be stressful for women, it may be protective of good mental health for a lot of women. The results also revealed that none of the variables significantly correlated with the level of distress for the unemployed women. Among the working women, past experience with unemployment and level of education had significant correlations with their mental well-being. Recommendations for nursing practice, education, theory, and research were made.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1570
Item ID: 1570
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 81-98.
Department(s): Nursing, School of
Date: 2000
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Unemployed women workers--Newfoundland and Labrador;Women--Mental health--Newfoundland and Labrador;Fisheries--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador;Unemployment--Newfoundland and Labrador;Women's Health--Newfoundland and Labrador;Fisheries--Newfoundland and Labrador;

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