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Financial Strain and Loneliness among Young Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Psychosocial Resources

Tehila Refaeli and Netta Achdut
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Tehila Refaeli: The Charlotte Jack Spitzer Department of Social Work, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel
Netta Achdut: The Charlotte Jack Spitzer Department of Social Work, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 12, 1-18

Abstract: The COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus) pandemic, which has been accompanied by an economic crisis and multiple restrictions on our lives, has sparked renewed interest in the topic of loneliness as well as its determinants. We examined (1) the association between financial strain, occurring upon the outbreak of the virus, and loneliness among Israeli young people (aged 20–35); (2) the associations between cognitive social capital, psychological resources, and loneliness; and (3) whether these social and psychological resources were moderators in the financial strain–loneliness link. A real-time survey based on snowball sampling was conducted during April 2020 (N = 426). Hierarchical linear models were employed to explore associations between financial strain, cognitive social capital, psychological resources, and loneliness. Financial strain emerging during the pandemic was associated with greater loneliness. Cognitive social capital and optimism decreased loneliness. Sense of mastery moderated the financial strain–loneliness link. Policymakers must develop and extend mental health initiatives aimed at alleviating the psychological consequences of the pandemic and must also combat financial strain via unemployment compensation and social assistance programs. In line with the United Nations sustainable development goals, these tasks should be viewed as an integral part of promoting public health.

Keywords: financial strain; perceived income adequacy; loneliness; coronavirus; optimism; mastery; cognitive social capital; young people (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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