Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Second Advisor

Dr. James Sanders

Third Advisor

Dr. Roger Zabik


A descriptive study ( 1991-1992) examined 166 closing and nonclosing UAW auto workers in two General Motors settings, as to how they cope mentally and physically with unemployment and displacement 5 years after plant closure and mass layoffs. Workers were asked the question, "Is job loss a threat, a loss, or a challenge?"

Lazarus and Folkman' s ( 1984) Stress, Appraisal and Coping and the Stress Coping Model (Lazarus, 1980) provided the theoretical basis for this study. Measures included the investigator designed Plant Closing Questionnaire, Revised Ways of Coping (Folkman & Lazarus, undated), Hassles and Uplifts Scale (Lazarus & Folkman, undated), Coping Resources Inventory (Hammer & Marting, undated), and the Health Risk Appraisal (University of Michigan Fitness Research Center, undated).

Results of self-report surveys showed that the majority of workers claim satisfaction and have their lives in perspective. The majority said they had average to strong social support and did not suffer a personal loss due to job change.

Stress was measured as a process. Data were gathered from open-ended questions, with the results of the combined group showing the greatest difference in the reappraisal category.

Resources currently available to individuals for managing stress were identified .

Efforts are encouraged to cease smoking and decrease alcohol use, as well as increase exercise and get regular medical checkups. Although a majority stated they have coped better with stress , interviews indicated there is need for extended help.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access