Chronic unemployment is one of the top stressors in life that affects an individual’s income, identity and self-worth, emotional and physical health, and personal relationships. At the extreme, the stressors are associated with an increased risk of suicide. While the damaging effects of chronic unemployment are extensive, not everyone experiences such negative consequences. The focus of research has primarily been on the negative impact rather than exploring what may account for the differences in the ways that individuals adapt, such as the intelligent use of positive emotions. Researchers using quantitative methods have identified significant correlations among emotional intelligence (EI), positive emotions, and coping. The problem is that the results have not provided an understanding of the deliberate use of positive emotions to cope with stress. The purpose of this qualitative, hermeneutic (interpretative), phenomenological study was to provide a rich, contextual understanding of the processes by which individuals activated and utilized positive emotions via EI to cope with the multiple stressors associated with chronic unemployment. A purposeful sample of six adults receiving services from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Job Center and unemployed for a period of 6 months or more participated in the study. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews to collect the data. The data was analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). The identified themes underscored the importance of providing support services to extend vocational interventions and can be used to inform policy makers of changes needed in unemployment programs. Second, the use of a phenomenological approach to examine the confidence in the ability to use emotions and the ability to activate and use positive emotions provided support for the proposition that the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions (PE) facilitates the application of trait EI and the deliberate use of positive emotions to cope with stress.
|Commitee:||McNellie, Bruce, Melaragno, Ralph|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Counseling Psychology, Cognitive psychology|
|Keywords:||Chronic unemployment, Coping, Emotional intelligence, Positive emotions, Unemployment|
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