The grief process and reaction to job loss

Rhodes, Valerie (1991) The grief process and reaction to job loss. Doctoral thesis, Lancashire Polytechnic.

[thumbnail of Thesis document] PDF (Thesis document) - Submitted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.



The aim of this study was to assess the applicability of the grief process to job loss. A pilot study of ten unemployed men was used to establish the structured interview and an appropriate form of content analysis, based on the components of grief derived from studies of bereavement. Other measures assessed the degree of attachment to the former job. This was followed by a cross-sectional study involving 60 men who had lost their jobs over the previous eight years. All of the individual components of grief were found among the sample and twenty seven percent of the sample fulfilled a criterion for a clear grief-like response. A longitudinal study involving 38 men extending over twelve months was then carried out so that changes over time could be investigated more thoroughly. In this study, too, all of the individual components of grief were found among the sample, and at the time of the first interview, twenty four percent of the men fulfilled the criterion for an
unambiguous grief-like reaction. There was a high level of consistency in the results of the cross- sectional and longitudinal studies. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies provided evidence that some of the factors said to mediate the effects of bereavement had a similar influence on reactions to unemployment. In both, individual characteristics rather than length of time since job loss accounted for variation in the men's reactions and neither the patterns suggested by stage theories for bereavement nor for unemployment were reproduced.

Repository Staff Only: item control page