Mediated Moderation or Moderated Mediation: Relationship between Length of Unemployment, Resilience, Coping and Health

By Sojo, Víctor; Guarino, Leticia | The Spanish Journal of Psychology, January 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

Mediated Moderation or Moderated Mediation: Relationship between Length of Unemployment, Resilience, Coping and Health


Sojo, Víctor, Guarino, Leticia, The Spanish Journal of Psychology


The aim of the present research was to evaluate a model of mediated moderation vs. moderated mediation that could explain the relationship between length of unemployment, dispositional resilience, coping styles and depression and social functioning of Venezuelan unemployed individuals. Self-report measures were administered to a sample of 328 unemployed residents in Caracas, Venezuela. Results indicated that emotional coping acted as a mediator in the relationship between resilience and depression. Individuals with greater resilience used more detachment coping when unemployment was longer, while individuals with poorer resilience in the same situation used less avoidance coping. Resilience acted as a protective moderating factor between longer periods of unemployment and social functioning, a process mediated by detachment coping. Overall, results supported a mediated moderation model, with resilience as the moderating factor and coping as the mediator in the relation between stress due to the length of unemployment and well-being.

Keywords: unemployment, resilience, coping styles, health, mediated moderation.

El objetivo de la presente investigación fue evaluar un modelo de moderación mediada vs. mediación moderada que permitiera explicar la relación entre la duración del desempleo, una medida disposicional de resiliencia, los estilos de afrontamiento y la depresión y el funcionamiento social percibido en desempleados venezolanos. Para ello se administraron instrumentos de auto-informe a una muestra de 328 desempleados residentes en la ciudad de Caracas, Venezuela. Los resultados indicaron que el afrontamiento emocional operó como un factor mediador en la relación entre la resiliencia y la depresión. Asimismo, las personas más resilientes usan más el afrontamiento por desapego cuando tienen más tiempo desempleadas, mientras que las personas menos resilientes en esa misma condición hacen menos afrontamiento evitativo. La resiliencia operó como factor moderador del impacto de la duración del desempleo sobre el funcionamiento social, actuando como un factor protector, proceso que estuvo mediado por el afrontamiento por desapego emocional. En síntesis, los resultados apoyan un modelo de moderación mediada, siendo la resiliencia el factor moderador y el afrontamiento el factor mediador en el impacto del estrés por la duración del desempleado sobre la salud.

Palabras clave: desempleo, resiliencia, estilos de afrontamiento, salud, moderación mediada.

Unemployment is a stressful event that can affect the physical and psychological wellbeing of individuals (Dooley, Fielding, & Lennart, 1996), depending on their coping resources and other variables that facilitates or inhibits its effect. This study was carried out with the aim to know the relationship between length of unemployment, a group of positive personality characteristics which form a dispositional measure of resilience, coping and wellbeing or health indexes (depression and social dysfunction), analyzed under a model of mediated moderation vs. moderated mediation, as described by Muller, Judd, and Yzerbyt (2005).

Length of unemployment and health

Length of unemployment has been found to have a negative association with the frequency and time invested searching for new jobs. The importance attributed to work (work centrality) and the non-financial job commitment decrease as time of unemployment increases (Kulik, 2001).

Also, it has been found a relationship between length of unemployment and cognitive functioning. According to Alvaro (1992), individuals with longer periods of unemployment reported needing more time to do the same things, found it harder to concentrate, and to do their activities with the same ability as before. Unemployed individuals also indicated problems to start new tasks, remain mentally active, remember things, make decisions, and understand rapidly what other people say. On the other hand, Artazcoz, Benach, Borrell, and Cortes (2004) did not find that significant association between the length of unemployment and mental health. …

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