The “Celtic Tiger” has bowed to the pressure of the global economic crisis. Ireland had gotten this name in the early 1990 when it had become the fastest growing economy and most wealthy nation in Western Europe. One reason for this impressive growth was the low taxes and government incentives that attracted foreign investors into the country (Kaye, 2009). There was an influx of immigrants into Ireland from the neighboring countries like Poland who provided the much needed labor.
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When the economy suffered the recent recession, most immigrants left the country and locals also went abroad to search for greener pastures. This created a deficit of labor that further worsened the situation. However, the industrial sector was not the only causality. Families have also paid dearly as it was seen in the recent increase in the divorce rates (Pedraza, 2009). As the effects continue to rage, the question that begs is, where will it end?
Aim of study
While it is common knowledge that economic hardships have a negative toll on the family setup of a nation, little or no research has been done by respective countries to establish empirically the impact that recession has on the economy (Unal-Karaguven, 2009). In the light of this, this study seeks to establish the threat of loss as well as the actual loss that has been brought about by this recession on the family. As seen in DeCarlo and Wadsworth’s (2008) theory, economic hardships impact negatively on the family resulting in stress of the children and adults alike.
Conger (1999) found empirical evidence that the effects of recession could be seen in the family. I will therefore look at materialism, psychological well being and coping strategies for dealing with stress. The hard times have forced workers to change their lifestyles in order to make do meager returns.
Introduction to study
The questionnaire used in the study is a structured questionnaire that will establish the impact of the changing lifestyles on the families. Although the questionnaire used has a number of questions, they all revolve around three topics that have been found to be part and parcel of any recession the world over. The research seeks to establish the concept of materialism and how this affects the family structure. Respondents will be required to answer questions that will help establish how satisfied they were with their income levels, if they had some extra money for their tertiary and secondary needs, and if they accessed adequate financial credit DeCarlo and Wadsworth (2008).
The research will also address psychological effects of the recession. It has been observed that psychological well being of individuals in the family setup was dependant on economic stability. Experts further suggest that when there is less money to fend for needs, there is more family-related demand which is directly related to the high levels of family depression and stress (Pinquart et al., 2010)
The research will look at the social needs to find out if they are adequately met and a hypothesis on the psychological impact of this developed. Since stress is expected to be an aftermath of the recession on the family, the research will also look at the different available options for coping with the stress. This could involve such things as a sense of humor, good diet, intimacy with spouse or partner and the concept of hope. By and large, the research findings will go a long way in establishing the consequences of recession particularly on the families.
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Conger, D., Reuter, A., & Elder, G. (2009). Couple resilience to economic pressure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76(I), 54-71.
DelCarlo, C. & Wordsworth, M. (2008). Risk and resilience processes in ethnically diverse families in poverty. Journal of Family Psychology 22(3), 399–410.
Kaye, J. (2009). Global Economic Downturn Slams Ireland, Spares Poland. Web.
Pedraza, B. (2009). Economic Downturn Affects Marriage, Families. Web.
Pinquart, M. et al, (2010). Coping with family demands under difficult economic conditions. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 69 (1), 53–63.
Unal-Karaguven, M. (2009). Psychological impact of an economic crisis: A conservation of resources approach. International Journal of Stress Management, 16(3), 177–194.