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Linking Social Support to Psychological Distress in the Unemployed: The Moderating Role of Core Self-Evaluations

Abstract

In this study, an integrative analysis involving social support and core self-evaluations (CSE) as concurrent predictors of psychological distress among unemployed adults was conducted. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between perceptions of social support and CSE with psychological distress among unemployed adults, as well as whether levels of CSE moderated the relations between social support and psychological distress. Results indicated that, along with the expected direct and additional influence, a significant social support × CSE interaction was found in explaining several dimensions of psychological distress beyond the independent effect of socio-demographic variables, social support and CSE independently. Specifically, we found significant interaction for social support × CSE in explaining stress and anxiety symptoms. Our data provide empirical support for theoretical and conceptual work connecting social support, CSE and psychological distress associated with unemployment suggesting that alone, but also in combination, these contextual and personal resources may be particularly relevant for leading to reduced psychological distress during unemployment. Finally, theoretical implications of the joint study of these constructs and their relation with psychological distress in unemployed people are discussed.

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Acknowledgments

This research has been supported and funded in part by research project from Spanish Government PSI2012-38813.

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Correspondence to Natalio Extremera.

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Rey, L., Extremera, N. & Peláez-Fernández, M.A. Linking Social Support to Psychological Distress in the Unemployed: The Moderating Role of Core Self-Evaluations. Soc Indic Res 127, 435–445 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-015-0958-x

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Keywords

  • Social support
  • Core self-evaluations
  • Psychological distress
  • Unemployment