Psychosocial Consequences and Symptoms
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This is the final chapter of Part III ‘Prevalence of Economic Vulnerability Among Swiss Pensioners’ that presents a descriptive analysis of our sample population. It provides the background for more complex multivariate analyses by systematically exploring the relationship between a series of potential explanatory variables and the three dependent measures of economic vulnerability: Monthly income below CHF 2400.- (Objective Measure/Income Poverty), Difficulties in making ends meet with monthly income (Self-Assessed Measure/Economic Strain) and Worries about not having enough money for current expenses (Perceived Measure/Economic Stress). Our theoretical model posits that, in addition to the direct relationship between self-assessed economic strain on economic stress, this effect is moderated by Psychosocial Symptoms and Consequences: it is thought that, at the same level of difficulties in making ends meet, the experience of role strains and a diminished self-concept is likely to increase the probability of higher levels of economic stress. The variable block ‘Psychosocial Symptoms and Consequences’ encompasses social isolation, such as a low frequency of contact with friends and family via phone calls or visits, a frequent feeling of loneliness, and symptoms of a sense of diminishment, expressed in negative statements about one’s self, and lastly, the perceived level of mastery or sense of control over life.