Young Adults and Mental Health
Two new articles address the issues of youth adults and mental health:
- Science shares in its new research stating adolescents who see widespread layoffs around them as they grow up are less likely to enroll in college -- even if no one in their family loses a job.
- CLASP shares young adults living in poverty face high exposure to lived experiences of structural disadvantage and trauma with lasting implications for educational, economic, and other life outcomes.
An issue of Science shares he ripple effects of large-scale job losses linger for years and can keep adolescents from attending college later in life, according to new research carrying significant ramifications for policy makers, college recruiters and counselors.
Poor middle school and high school students who live through major job losses in their region attend college at significantly lower rates when they are 19 years old; a 7% state job loss when a student is an adolescent is tied to a 20% decline in likelihood that the poorest young people will attend college.
Local job losses hurt adolescent mental health, researchers found. Job losses also cut academic performance. The negative impacts are not limited to children from families where parents lost jobs -- they extend to those who witness their friends, neighbors and others in the community being affected by layoffs.
The effects are particularly strong among students from the poorest families and among African-American students. Those students have the lowest levels of family wealth to fall back upon when they lose a job and the income it brings. African-Americans also tend to face the highest barriers to employment.
CLASP shares that youth frequently “get through” these challenges without formal mental health supports, relying on community-based programs and peer networks to cope with their experiences.
“Everybody Got Their Go Throughs”: Young Adults on the Frontlines of Mental Health summarizes findings from focus groups and analysis of data from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The accompanying infographics visually represent young adults’ understanding of mental health and provide an overview of the national data included in the report. The report’s major findings are a call to action, underlining the importance of an assets-based approach to mental health supports for youth and young adults. Such an approach recognizes and validates strengths, resilience, and young adults’ drive to fully achieve their education, employment, and life goals.