Objective: This paper provides an outline of the complex relationship among stress, unemployment, mental health, and participation in recreation activities as a possible adaptive coping strategy for people with disabilities. Methods: This paper is a result of a two-phase review of the literature. Phase one included review of articles that examined the relationship among unemployment, stress, and mental health outcomes for people with disabilities. Phase two included articles that examined the efficacy of recreation activities as a means of buffering stress. Results: Research indicates a cyclical process that occurs when people with disabilities experience unemployment; this unemployment often leads to chronic stress which in turn leads to negative mental health, symptoms that create further barriers to unemployment. Recreation activities that are physically active, culturally relevant, and conducive to relaxation were found to be effective at reducing the types of stressors experienced with unemployment. Conclusions: A complex relationship among unemployment, stress, mental health, and participation in recreation activities as a possible adaptive coping strategy exists for people with disabilities. An understanding of the types of recreation activities that are likely to reduce specific stressors associated with unemployment may be beneficial to consider as part of a comprehensive treatment plan when working with individuals with disabilities as they engage in the job seeking process.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health