Mental Illness and Transitioning to Adulthood
Study finds transition to adulthood more difficult with mental illness
A new study has found that young adults who are not in school or employed are more likely to face battles with mental illness.
An international team of researchers conducted the study and found that nearly 60 percent of young adults who were not in school and were unemployed had already experienced at least one mental health problem in their childhood or adolescence, compared to only 35 percent of young people who were in school, employed or engaging in some form of training.
“Our findings indicate that while the struggle to find work appears to take its toll on the mental health of young people, this does not appear to be an issue of motivation. The majority of 18 year olds we spoke to were endeavoring to find jobs and committed to the idea of work, although they are perhaps hampered by a lack of skills that would serve them well in the job market,” says Terrie Moffitt, co-author of the study from King’s College London, in a statement.
For the study, researchers collected data from more than 2,000 British young people transitioning from compulsory schooling to early adulthood at the age of 18 and then analyzed their findings. 12 percent of the participants were not in any form of education, employment or training. Researchers then evaluated their commitment to work, mental health problems and problems with substance abuse.
Researchers also found that 35 percent of the participants who were not in school or employed suffered from depression compared to only 18 percent of those who were in school or working. 14 percent of those without a job and education had a generalized anxiety disorder, compared to just 6 percent of their counterparts.
The study proposes the notion that productivity is a key contributor to self-esteem and an overall positive outlook on life. Teens and young adults have a deep desire to make a difference, but often lack the vision or skill sets to venture out into the world.