Researcher studies how people cope with job loss

8/14/2009 - By: Claudene Wharton

A University of Nevada, Reno graduate student is studying how unemployed individuals and their families cope with job loss so that more effective interventions for unemployed individuals and their families can be developed.

“I am trying to find out how job loss affects people’s relationships, health and all aspects of their lives, as well as the lives of their spouses and children,” said Robyn Maitoza, in her third year of the University’s five-year doctorate program in the interdisciplinary field of social psychology. “I am trying to find out how they are coping, negatively and positively.”

Robyn Maitoza worked as a career consultant for the international firm of Lee Hecht Harrison in the Bay area before coming to Reno with her husband and three children four years ago. She began teaching classes in organizational behavior and business communication for the University’s College of Business, where associate professor of managerial sciences Jim Sundali encouraged her to pursue her doctorate.

She wants her research to provide information that will help psychologists and counselors design programs and methods to assist those struggling with unemployment. She is working under the direction of University assistant professor of psychology Tony Papa, who has worked in the field of grief recovery extensively, including working with survivors and family members of victims of 9/11.

Maitoza has developed a survey posted on Survey Monkey that takes about 20 minutes to complete. She is asking adults, 18 years or older, who are unemployed or working only part time and have lost a job involuntarily (but not due to performance) to go online and fill out the survey. All information is confidential and participants do not need to identify themselves. Participants can enter a drawing for a $50 gift card.


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