This study focuses on how young adults face the COVID-19 pandemic by investigating their personal concerns about mental well-being, career/studies and economic situation. The authors investigated how young adults' (aged 18–29) personal concerns differ from older people's concerns (aged 30–65) and which person- and context-related antecedents relate to personal concerns.
Data of Finnish young adults aged 18–29 (n = 222), who participated in the “Corona Consumers” survey (N = 1,000) in April 2020, were analyzed by path analysis and compared to participants aged 30–65 by independent samples t-test.
Young adults were significantly more concerned about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their mental well-being, career/studies and economic situation than older people. Females were more concerned about their mental well-being than males. Among youth, lower life satisfaction was related to concerns about mental well-being, and lower satisfaction with financial situation was related to concerns about career/studies and economic situation. Young adults' predisposition to avoid difficult situations was related to more frequent concerns in all domains, whereas generalized trust and education were not.
Due to cross-sectional data, causal COVID-19 interpretations should be made cautiously.
Strong youth policies are needed for youth empowerment, mental health and career advancement in the pandemic aftermath.
The study highlights the inequality of the effects of COVID-19: The pandemic has radically influenced young adults as they exhibit significant personal concerns in age-related life domains.
The entire research process of this study was funded by the Strategic Research Council (SRC) established within the Academy of Finland (Grant numbers #327237 and #327242).
Ranta, M., Silinskas, G. and Wilska, T.-A. (2020), "Young adults' personal concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland: an issue for social concern", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 40 No. 9/10, pp. 1201-1219. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-07-2020-0267
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