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Fathers’ unemployment impacts on their adult children’s mental health

Fathers’ unemployment impacts on their adult children’s mental health

Father and Child

Dr Jack Lam, from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course, and colleague Dr Christopher Ambrey, from The University of Queensland’s Institute for Social Science Research, have published a paperon the long-felt impacts a father’s unemployment may have on his children’s mental health and job-satisfaction.

The research examined the impacts of early-life adversity on individuals, and specifically where there had been instances of paternal unemployment. The impacts of unemployment, referred to as ‘scarring’, may be transferred to the next generation, becoming apparent in that child’s later life. To examine this, the researchers used 15 waves of data from HILDA (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia), a nationally representative, longitudinal study.

Drs Lam and Ambrey found that fathers' unemployment resulted in lower levels of mental health for their children, even as far as into the child’s mid-life years.

They also found that fathers’ unemployment was associated with their children’s lower job-security satisfaction in middle life. Job-security satisfaction is linked to improved mental health, therefore Drs Lam and Ambrey suggest that improving job security may protect the mental health of older adults.

Media issued by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course

 

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