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Abstract

This study investigated the impact of the 2008 economic crisis on mental health clients. One hundred and three mental health providers (101 being psychologists) from California, Colorado, and Arizona completed an online survey. Following Lazarus’ stress theory, social identity theory, and the finances-shame model, several moderator variables were evaluated for impact of financial crisis: gender, age group, previous mental health, lifestyle threat, and sources for support. As predicted, male and female clients were generally described as equally stressed, but stress responses differed. Financial role responsibilities and previous mental health were noted as predictors of stress. Men—as well as clients earning a “moderate” income (i.e., $50–100,000 annually) and who faced greater instability in social identity/status—described finance shame. Implications for further research, clinical competence, and public health are discussed.

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