This paper reviews findings from a panel study of Boston area unemployed men and their families. Psychological effects of unemployment on workers and their wives are summarized, particularly for the first half year of joblessness. Family responses to job loss are also examined, including the role of the marital relationship in buffering workers' stress. Finally, policy and service implications of this research are discussed. Consideration is given not only to the mental health needs of workers, but to frequently overlooked qualities of efficacy and resilience among the unemployed.