Financial Distress and Health

Financial Distress and Health

Hande Şahin (Kırıkkale University, Turkey) and Sibel Erkal (Hacettepe University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7484-4.ch007
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Abstract

The fundamental socio-economic effects of economic crises on societies are decreasing income, unemployment and hence, negative progress of living standards, increasing income inequality and poverty. According to the Commission on Social Determinants of Health Report of World Health Organization, crises adversely affect many social determinants of health and thus threat health in many aspects. An important part of overall psychological well-being is satisfaction with various aspects of life. One of those domains is one's financial situation. Financial distress has been described as judgments about and responses to one's financial condition. Financial distress is a subjective phenomenon. Two individuals with the same levels of income and economic resources may have different levels of perceived financial distress. Financial distress can result in or result from poor health, or both. The purpose of the study was to explore the relationships between financial distress and health.
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Introduction

The fundamental socio-economic effects of economic crises on societies are decreasing income, unemployment and hence, negative progress of living standards, increasing income inequality and poverty (Caman Karadag & Cilingiroğlu, 2009). According to the Commission on Social Determinants of Health Report of World Health Organization (WHO), crises adversely affect many social determinants of health and thus threat health in many aspects (WHO, 2009).

An important part of overall psychological well-being is satisfaction with various aspects of life. One of those domains is one’s financial situation. Researchers over the past 30 years have examined both objective and subjective measures in an attempt to describe the financial condition of individuals and families (Prawitz and et al., 2006).

The research have revealed that unemployment and poverty can lead to mental health problems such as stress disorders, depression, despair, introversion, loss of self-respect, anxiety disorders and behavioral disorders in addition to physical diseases and bodily complaints (Çaman Karadağ & Çilingiroğlu, 2009).

It is also known that the increasing unemployment brings along the increase in unregistered employment rates. In a research conducted on the effect of unregistered employment on mental health; insured employees, unregistered employees and unemployed people were evaluated in terms of mental disorders and it was found that the frequency of mental disorder was two times more in both unregistered employees and unemployed people than in insured employees (Ulaş & Kaya, 2009).

For the last five decades the term stress has enjoyed increasing popularity in the behavioral and health sciences. It first was used in physics in order to analyze the problem of how manmade structures must be designed to carry heavy loads and resist deformation by external focus (Krohne, 2002)Stress occurs when an individual perceives that the demands of an external situation are beyond his or her perceived ability to cope with them (Lazarus, 1966). Stress is an unavoidable accompaniment of everyday life (Skinner, Zautra & Reich, 2004). Stress can cause numerous deleterious changes in health. Stress appears to accelerate the aging process by shortening the lifespan of cells, thereby opening the door to disease (Epel et al., 2004). Some examples of stress-related illnesses are tension headaches, nervous colitis, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, hives, insomnia, compulsive eating, fatigue, low back pain, stiff neck and shoulders, chest pains, and irritability (Koesten, 2005; Tangri, 2003; Weisman, 2002).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Financial Problems: A financial problem is a situation in which you are not able to meet your bills on time or afford necessary basic needs. http://www.ask.com/question/definition-of-financial-problem . http://www.who.int/about/definition/en/print.html .

Financial Well-Being: Informed decision making and learning how to save, invest, use credit wisely, and plan for the future. http://studentinvolvement.orgsync.com/org/gpsa/Wellbeing_Financial .

Health: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. http://www.who.int/about/definition/en/print.html .

Finance: The science that describes the management, creation and study of money, banking, credit, investments, assets and liabilities. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/finance.asp Finance can also be defined as the science of money management. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finance .

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