Pandemic was particularly stressful for young adults

The state of emergency during the Corona pandemic took its toll on many in Switzerland. Those aged 20 to 29 suffered most of all. This is shown in a new survey by Switzerland.

(Photo: Unsplash)

What influence does or did the Corona pandemic and the associated measures have on our personal well-being? And above all, for whom? That's what Switzerland wanted to know in a current, representative survey. It was conducted from July 7 to 16, 2022 in German- and French-speaking Switzerland. A total of 1,036 people between the ages of 14 and 74 were surveyed.

The results confirm that the Corona measures, with their sometimes profound changes in everyday life, were a challenge for many. This is especially true for an age group that has often remained under the radar in the public discussion so far: young adults.

The 20- to 29-year-olds are fighting on several fronts

For example, more than half (52 percent) of 20- to 29-year-olds say that the pandemic has been psychologically stressful for them. That is 14 to 24 percentage points more than among all other age groups.

"We can only speculate about the reasons," says Cornelia Eck, Managing Director of Switzerland, and elaborates: "Many are facing a new phase of life at this age, starting their studies, positioning themselves in their careers. This is the worst possible time to have to do without interpersonal contacts and exchanges with fellow students and peers."

In addition, partnerships and relationships in this age group are usually also first established and strengthened, which is more difficult to implement in view of the isolation and limited opportunities. At least this is how the results can be interpreted: For example, one-fifth of young adults (21 percent) say that the pandemic has negatively affected their relationship. This proportion is significantly higher than among those aged 50 to 74 (9 percent) and also tends to be higher than among those aged 30 to 49 (16 percent) and those under 20 (17 percent).

Teenagers: thrown back on the family

As far as the family is concerned, the picture is somewhat different. Here, it is mainly the under-20s who have difficulty. This is not too surprising, since this is the age at which young people seek new, social contacts and distance themselves from the parental home. Instead, they saw the pandemic as being thrown back on the family. 38 percent of them say that Corona has had a negative impact on family life.

However, this is not the case for the representatives of those age groups most likely to have teenagers at home. Here, the proportion is significantly lower (30 to 49-year-olds: 17 percent; 50 to 74-year-olds:15 percent).

Hardly any influence on physical well-being

For a majority of 53 percent, the pandemic did not affect their physical well-being according to their own assessment. This is particularly true for 30 to 49-year-olds and 50 to 74-year-olds (52 percent and 61 percent, respectively). However, if we look at who felt negatively affected physically, the comparatively high proportion among young adults is again striking. One-third of 20- to 29-year-olds (34 percent) say Corona has negatively affected their physical well-being, while "only" a quarter (25 percent) of 30- to 49-year-olds say the same, for example.

As far as the professional situation is concerned, a majority of 55 percent see no influence. For one fifth of respondents (21 percent), the professional situation has even had a positive impact. Here, the flexibilization of working models will have been welcomed by many.

More articles on the topic