How Has the Social Climate Affected Well-being for Young Adults During COVID-19? The Role of Racial Prejudice and Grief

Alice Hibara, BA
Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine
Division of Young Adult Well-Being
Poster Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated to be a major life event in individuals worldwide and it is thought to co-occur with the current social movement (ie. The protests of George Floyd and related movements). Pertaining to these movements, racism, discrimination are known to have negative psychosocial impact on racial and ethnic groups in the US. Together with the COVID-19 pandemic and a heightened social climate, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of racial prejudice and COVID-19 related grief on young adult well-being. Furthermore, we pay close attention to the characteristics of the young adults who report their well-being being impacted. Overall, 27.7% of young adults reported well-being to have been affected greatly  or to a very great extent. Our findings also show that individuals with higher levels of COVID-19 related grief were 4.6 times more likely, and those with higher levels of racial prejudice were 3.3 times more likely to report that the current social climate has had an impact on their well-being. These findings provide a direction for careful attention when addressing well-being reported by young adults during this time.

Scientific Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated to be a major life event in individuals worldwide and it is thought to co-occur with the current social movement (ie. The protests of George Floyd and related movements). Pertaining to these movements, racism and discrimination are known to have negative psychosocial impact on racial and ethnic groups in the U.S (Jang, Chiriboga, & Small, 2008; Lanier et al., 2016; Lee et al., 2020). Therefore, we examined the impact the social climate may have had among young adults (N=354) from June to October 2020. Together with the COVID-19 pandemic and a heightened social climate, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of racial prejudice and COVID-19 related grief on young adult well-being. Furthermore, a close attention was given to the characteristics of the young adults who report their well-being was impacted. Overall, 27.7% of young adults reported well-being to have been affected greatly or to a very great extent. Further, individuals reporting higher rates of COVID-19 related grief were 4.6 times more likely (CI=1.8-6.5, p=.001), and those with higher levels of racial prejudice were 3.3 times more likely (CI=1.8-6.07, p<.001) to report that the current social climate has had an impact on their well-being. These findings provide a direction for prioritizing strategies that may address and deconstruct the thoughts young adults have, as they experience living in this social movement.

Clinical Implications
Evaluating young adult psychological well-being is necessary, alongside the development of targeted interventions to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research Areas
Authors
Alice Hibara
Principal Investigator
Cindy Hsin-Ju Liu

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