11 Nov COVID Pandemic: Job Insecurity Linked to Depression and Anxiety in Young Adults -19
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kyle T. Ganson, PhD, MSW
Assistant Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
University of Toronto
Jason Nagata, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California, USA
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: A quarter of young adults in the US have reported being unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Young adults may be especially affected by employment loss as they often work in industries most adversely affected by social distancing.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Among a sample of nearly 5,000 young adults age 18 to 26 in the US, we found that since March 2020, young adults who lost their job or were part of a household that experienced employment loss were more likely than those with secure employment to experience four common symptoms of anxiety and depression. This was also true of young adults who expected an employment loss in the next four weeks. The study also found that symptoms of anxiety and depression were common among the sample of young adults. In the seven days prior to the survey, 75% reported being nervous, anxious or on edge, 68% reported not being able to stop or control worrying, 67% reported having little interest or pleasure in doing things, and 64% reported feeling down, depressed, or hopeless.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has had wide ranging effects on young adults. It is imperative that public policies address the economic downturns to ensure the employment security of young adults, which may subsequently address their mental health.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research should investigate the multifactorial contributors to poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for young adults. Interventions to promote the mental health of young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic in the face of job insecurity and other economic insecurities should be developed and tested.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Young adults experiencing depression or anxiety should seek professional help early on. During the pandemic, there are more options to access telehealth and other mental health resources virtually. Social workers and mental health professionals should be screening for employment insecurity as the pandemic continues to ensure they are proving appropriate treatment and referrals to unemployment programs and resources.
The authors have no financial disclosures to report.
Kyle T. Ganson, Alexander C. Tsai, Sheri D. Weiser, Samuel E. Benabou, Jason M. Nagata,
Job Insecurity and Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression Among U.S. Young Adults During COVID-19, Journal of Adolescent Health, 2020.
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