Young adults' personal concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland: an issue for social concern

Mette Ranta, Gintautas Silinskas, Terhi-Anna Wilska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Issue number9/10
Pages (from-to)1201-1219
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • AGE
  • COVID-19
  • Financial situation
  • Life satisfaction
  • Personal concerns
  • Task avoidance
  • WORK
  • Youth
  • 516 Educational sciences

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