Original Published Date: 
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Full article issued by the Association for Psychological Science.

People who suffered a financial, housing-related, or job-related hardship as a result of the Great Recession were more likely to show increases in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and problematic drug use, new research supported in part by an ARC Laureate Fellowship at Macquarie University, has shown.

The study provides a new perspective on the impact of The Great Recession, showing that population-level analyses likely missed important patterns in the data. To investigate the impacts of the Great Recession, which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, the researchers focused on data collected during a longitudinal study of adults in 2003-2004, three years before the recession began, and 2012-2013, three years after the recession ended.

Their findings suggest the adverse effects of the Great Recession on individuals' mental health likely compounded and prolonged its economic costs, highlighting that government-funded mental health support following financial recessions may not only ease individuals' burdens, but could be a sound financial investment that may act to stimulate faster economic recovery following future recessions.

Photo credit: 

The Great Recession of 2007-09 caused financial, housing-related, or job-related hardship for many. This photo is from Dorothea Lange's famous series depicting economic hardship during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Credit: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).