This study examined the relation between the sense of self-continuity, defined as the ability to perceive oneself as extending temporally backwards into the past and forwards into the future, and the adaptiveness of strategies of coping with job loss. We created a web site that was linked to several Israeli web sites dealing with unemployment in the high- tech sector. Respondents were 211 Israeli men and women, aged 18-58, both employed and unemployed, who answered some biographical questions and completed two questionnaires online: the Coping Strategies Questionnaire (Roger, Jarvis & Najarian, 1993) and a version of the Possible Selves Questionnaire (Markus & Nurius, 1986). The results indicated that individuals who had suffered job loss had a lower sense of self-continuity than those who had not suffered job loss and this did not differ by the field of their previous employment (high-tech or other) or length of unemployment. Those individuals with a higher sense of self-continuity evidenced greater adaptiveness in coping, independently of the number of months they had been unemployed. This study is important in demonstrating that the sense of self-continuity is a resource in coping adaptively at times of crisis, suggesting that enhancing the sense of self-continuity may be a beneficial means of helping individuals cope more effectively with job loss.
- High tech
- Job loss