Young lives, interrupted: Short‑term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents in low- and middleincome countries
Published in Covid Economic, this journal article examines how the lives of adolescents in Low- and Middle- Income countries have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic downturn using data from a Young Lives at Work's recent phone survey which asked detailed information about the COVID-19 pandemic experiences as well as collecting welfare indicators that are comparable across survey rounds. This allowed the authors a unique opportunity to compare a cohort of young people born around the turn of the Millennium (Younger Cohort) with an Older Cohort born in 1994, measured at the same age but seven years previously; both cohorts have been surveyed by the project since 2002.
The authors found that relative gains in multidimensional well-being of the Younger Cohort found in survey rounds up to 2016 had largely disappeared in 2020. The significant (absolute and relative) downturn in self-reported wellbeing and economic circumstances is apparent in India, Ethiopia, and Peru, though not in Vietnam, the country which has had the most success at controlling the virus. However, educational enrolment has been affected in all countries. They suggest that the consequences of education dropout and links to potential mental health issues may mean the effects are long lasting in the absence of interventions to support young people’s wellbeing and livelihoods.
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