Economic and social consequences of COVID-19 and mental health burden among Latinx young adults during the 2020 pandemic

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American Psychological Association


Latinx young adults 18–25 years old face unique challenges that disproportionately put them at high risk of experiencing health as well as economic and social burden due to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The present study examined how economic and psychosocial consequences as a result of the pandemic were associated with mental health issues among a community sample of Latinx young adults (N = 83) from Central Texas. Participants completed an online survey of COVID-related experiences and mental health needs. The survey asked about personal and family experiences of COVID-19 in two significant areas: (a) economic strain (e.g., economic hardship, food insecurity) and (b) psychosocial burden (e.g., losing relationships, substance use). Regression analyses examined the association of COVID-19 consequences on level of mental health symptoms and clinically significant outcomes. Relative to economic consequences, psychosocial consequences due to the COVID-19 pandemic were associated with higher levels of mental health symptoms. In contrast, in few cases, economic strain resultant from the pandemic was correlated with clinically significant outcomes among this sample. Collectively, findings suggest that the costs of the pandemic do not only pertain to mortality from illness but also to morbidity as it relates to deteriorating social circumstances and mental health. Findings from this study call for immediate attention to implement policies and programs to help mitigate the economic and social–emotional consequences of COVID-19 such as easy access to low-cost virtual mental health resources to Latinx young adults.