The effects of a plant closure on the stress levels and health of workers' wives — a preliminary analysis

Journal of Business Ethics 2 (3):221 - 225 (1983)
In recent years an increasing amount of information leaves no doubt that the costs to the victims of plant closures are more than economic. The stress occasioned by job loss often results in ill health. These findings aside, little systematic research has been done of the consequences of unemployment for the spouses of the unemployed. In this article, a comparison is made between the effects of a closure on unemployed male employees and their wives. It is found that both groups suffer a high degree of anxiety over future job prospects and both experience a high level of stress as a result of the closure. However, for wives, anxiety, but not general stress, leads to ill health. For men, neither appears to have health implications: post-closure illness is related to illness prior to the shutdown. In one sense, two months after the closure, it can be argued that the impact of the shutdown was greater on wives than unemployed former employees.
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