COVID-19 pandemic isolation hits younger adults harder than older adults, US Census finds

COVID-19 isolation
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A new survey indicates living alone during the coronavirus pandemic may have a greater mental health impact on young adults than on older adults.

Findings from the Census Bureau Household Pulse survey indicate, among adults living alone during the pandemic, those over the age of 65 have lower rates of anxiety and depression than two younger groups of adults: those in ages ranging from 18 to 29 and from 30 to 44.

Licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. George James, with Council For Relationships, says those findings make sense.

"Some folks in that age range, they're still building, you're still making sometimes significant decisions: Will you partner? Will you live with someone?  Will you have a child? Will you get a new job?  Will you maintain that job?" he said. "Versus some folks, who are the older adults -- they've passed through those stages, and some of those worries aren't there. They might have other worries."

The survey also found that young adults living in households with children were more likely to feel anxiety than adults living in households without children.

The survey also found that economic disruption and physical well-being have an impact on a person's mental health. James says oftentimes changes in mental health can be detected through behavioral changes.

"If there is a significant change in how people eat, sleep, some level of irritability, feeling sadness," he said. "Sometimes people might not know how to express that so they have more angry outbursts."

Racial and ethnic disparities were inconclusive in this survey. Dr. James says he would have liked to learn more on that.

"But I think it was a good initial step to at least say like, yeah, people are anxious, people are depressed and there are multiple factors that could be involved."

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