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Publication date: 5 November 2020

Mette Ranta, Gintautas Silinskas and Terhi-Anna Wilska

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…

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Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

Due to cross-sectional data, causal COVID-19 interpretations should be made cautiously.

Practical implications

Strong youth policies are needed for youth empowerment, mental health and career advancement in the pandemic aftermath.

Originality/value

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.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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