A Longitudinal Analysis of Involuntary Job Loss and Communication Resilience Processes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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This longitudinal study explored associations between communication resilience processes, job-search self-efficacy, and well-being for a sample of US adults who involuntarily lost their jobs during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the communication theory of resilience (CTR), we tested four possible models regarding how the enactment of resilience processes would be associated with job-search self-efficacy and well-being over time. Participants (N = 595) described their job loss story and completed measures of communication resilience processes, job-search self-efficacy, and well-being (perceived stress, mental health, and life satisfaction) in February 2021, then completed measures again 2 and 4 months later. Findings from random intercept cross-lagged panel analyses suggested that after accounting for between-person associations, resilience enactment shared significant within-person reciprocal relationships with job-search self-efficacy, perceived stress, and mental health over time. Theoretical implications for CTR, future directions for communication research, and practical implications for supporting diverse job seekers are discussed.

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Journal of Communication, in press