According to a study carried out by the Fad Joventut Foundation and the Pfizer Foundation on 1,200 young people between the ages of 15 and 29, youth pessimism has decreased considerably when compared to the figures in 2020.
Despite the context they face after the pandemic, defined in part by the icertainty and job insecurityyoung people are lucky to have support networks such as family, friends or partners that provide stability.
This is demonstrated by the data collected in the study “Youth in full development and pandemic crisis. How they look to the future”a project headed by the Pfizer Foundation and the Fad Youth Foundation whose objective is to investigate the effects that the pandemic has caused in the lives of young people, both in terms of mental health and the damage to their lives in general.
The president of the Pfizer Foundation, Sergio Rodriguez, has highlighted the significance of this study, a kind of continuation of a first investigation, also carried out by FAD in 2020, on the experiences and emotions of young people in confinement and de-escalation. When talking about the present project he indicates:
“This research seems to us to be a useful working tool in order to improve the well-being and quality of life of young people, who are our future”
On the other hand, the president of the Fad Youth Foundation, Ignacio Bayón, has also put a clear message on the table regarding the intent of the investigation. Because it is a social commitment behind the well-being of young people.
“We have the obligation as a society to enable the mechanisms so that all young people who are suffering and have problems of emotional discomfort can have access – easy and fast – to psychological care services where they can find help and which, clearly, are insufficient at the present time”, assures Bayón.
How has the pandemic changed young people?
The study stipulates that practically for 60% of respondents the impact of the pandemic on different facets of their lives has been unquestionable and, specifically, on their respective personal situations. Regarding the extension in time of the changes mentioned, 55.7% assure that they will be permanent.
However, this perception does not have a negative connotation. And it is that 56.2% of respondents believe that the changes have been a better: they have gained awareness about their lives and what they want, they have seen an improvement in their social relationships and their sense of responsibility has increased.
In contrast, those who have pointed out that the changes have gone to worsethey point to the worsening of habits and relationships, as well as feeling weaker or more vulnerable.
For many the pandemic has been a rupture: 7 out of 10 young people declare that they have changed their habits, of which 35.4% have considered it an improvement and 34.8%, no. Only 24.4% of respondents say that they have not changed any aspect of their lives.
They are distinguished as better habits
- The self care physical, referring to exercise and a balanced diet
- Social interaction
While the worst habits are
- Trend to withdrawalbased on isolation or passivity in doing something
- Compulsive habitslike eating too little or too much
- Physical negligence
Something to keep in mind is the genre: Men mean more than women when it comes to improvement.
Impact of the pandemic on…
A common concern difficult to ignore that always resurfaces and now, in the face of the ravages of the pandemic, in a much more accentuated way is the economic capacity. The young people surveyed negatively assess the economic impact of the pandemic and confinement.
But mental health is not far behind either.
What about mental health?
Mental health is among the aspects most negatively affected by the pandemic, with 66.8% of young people believing that mental health is one of the biggest victims of this situation.
In this sense, the total percentage of teenagers and young people who present psychological problems with some or a lot of frequency is currently around 24%, while in 2021 it was 8.6% and in 2019 it was 6.2%. In other words, there has been an increase in prevalence of almost 18 points.
The appearance of negative thoughts it is by far the worst psychological indicator, and women rank worst on the indicators.
According to the data collected, between the ages of 20 and 24 there is an increase in the frequency of negative thoughts. Almost 1 in 3 young people believe that nothing has a solution, that everything will get worse and they believe they are failures. On the other hand, 1 in 4 feel like a burden to others.
Women and mental health
And before the pandemic, 40% of respondents they had not experienced psychological or mental health problems, which has reduced currently up to 30.8%.
A constant throughout the analysis is the tendency for women to do worse. Not just because they show worse databut in addition they suffer more frequency psychological disorders
So while overall the mood is worsening, the truth is that the percentages are uneven: 50% of women support this premise, while only 30% of men do so to the same extent .
Therefore, the way to translate it is no other: the pandemic has affected more women than men.