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Collective Stressors Affect the Psychosocial Development of Young Adults


Bühler, Janina Larissa; Hopwood, Christopher J; Nissen, Adam; Bleidorn, Wiebke (2023). Collective Stressors Affect the Psychosocial Development of Young Adults. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 14(6):708-726.

Abstract

Young adulthood is a critical developmental life stage and a period of enhanced vulnerability to stress. In 2020, young adults in Northern California were faced with a series of unforeseen, collective stressors: the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme wildfires, social tension associated with the murder of George Floyd, and a contentious election that culminated in an attack on the nation’s capital. In a natural experiment, we compared the psychosocial development of 415 young adults across 8 monthly assessment waves during 2020 to a control cohort ( n = 465) who completed the same assessment protocol in 2019, prior to the onset of stressors. Results of latent growth curve models indicated that the 2020 cohort had less adaptive trajectories of affective well-being and lower levels and less adaptive trajectories of social functioning, suggesting detrimental effects of cumulative, collective stressors on the socio-emotional development of young adults.

Abstract

Young adulthood is a critical developmental life stage and a period of enhanced vulnerability to stress. In 2020, young adults in Northern California were faced with a series of unforeseen, collective stressors: the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme wildfires, social tension associated with the murder of George Floyd, and a contentious election that culminated in an attack on the nation’s capital. In a natural experiment, we compared the psychosocial development of 415 young adults across 8 monthly assessment waves during 2020 to a control cohort ( n = 465) who completed the same assessment protocol in 2019, prior to the onset of stressors. Results of latent growth curve models indicated that the 2020 cohort had less adaptive trajectories of affective well-being and lower levels and less adaptive trajectories of social functioning, suggesting detrimental effects of cumulative, collective stressors on the socio-emotional development of young adults.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Clinical Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:psychosocial development, COVID-19 pandemic, young adulthood, exogenous shock, stress
Language:English
Date:1 August 2023
Deposited On:18 Aug 2023 09:55
Last Modified:30 Mar 2024 04:32
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1948-5514
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/19485506221119018
Project Information:
  • : FunderSwiss National Science Foundation
  • : Grant IDP2BSP1_188102
  • : Project Title