Researchers from the University of Luxembourg have just published 2021’s preliminary results of a representative survey of young people and COVID-19 (YAC). This report is a follow-up to the 2020 publication on “Young People and COVID-19”. The YAC project monitors the situation of young people in Luxembourg throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and analyses its short-, medium- and long-term consequences.
Preliminary results of large-scale study published
A team of the Centre for Childhood and Youth Research (CCY) led by Robin Samuel conducted again a survey among 12- to 29-year-old residents in Luxembourg during summer 2021 to identify the social, economic, and health consequences of the pandemic and the measures against COVID-19. The German report further describes young people’s attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccines and reasons (not) to get vaccinated. The report is available in English, French, Luxembourgish, Portuguese and “Young People and Covid-19 II: Evolution 2020-2021, Vaccination Willingness and Impact of the Pandemic”.
The researchers find a significant reduction in the levels of concern about COVID-19 and the possible changes induced by the pandemic among young people in Luxembourg compared to last year. However, just as last year, the levels of concern are more pronounced among female respondents, older youth and respondents with a low socioeconomic background.
Even though the acceptance of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic remains high among the young population, there is a noticeable increase in young people perceiving the measures as somewhat excessive. The same applies to the easiness in adhering to these measures: While the majority of respondents still find it is easy for them to follow the rules, there is an increased number of respondents stating that it is somewhat difficult for them to adhere to the measures.
Although the majority of young people perceive no or even positive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and measures, a significant share of young people in Luxembourg report negative effects on their mental health, relationships with friends or expectations for the future. The published report provides insights into the effects on work and learning experiences and shows that most students have experienced a change in their learning experience and expect delays in their graduation.
This year’s YAC report also covers aspects of COVID-19 vaccination. Respondents who have already been vaccinated or are (very) likely to be vaccinated in the future most often state that they want to “support society in the fight against the pandemic”, “protect themselves and others”, or “be able to travel more freely and safely”.
Respondents who have not been vaccinated and are (very) unlikely to do so, or are unsure about the vaccination, most often report doubts about whether the vaccine has been sufficiently tested or is effective, fear of side effects, or do not feel they belong to a risk group and therefore feel it is unnecessary to be vaccinated.
The report concludes that the majority of young people in Luxembourg continue to be able to come to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures. Compared to 2020, however, both concern and acceptance of the measures have decreased to some extent. The fact that compliance with the measures is also described as somewhat more difficult could indicate a certain pandemic fatigue.
Negative effects of the pandemic and the measures to contain it persist since last year, but do not seem to be predominant among young people. However, the longer the COVID-19 pandemic lasts and negative effects continue to show among young people, the more important it is to monitor the groups particularly at risk. The sociodemographic and socio-economic inequalities in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, already detected in last year’s analyses, continue to exist and potentially worsen. Young women and respondents with a low socioeconomic or migration background are, for example, more likely to report that they are not coping well with the current situation. At the same time, they are more likely to be very concerned about COVID-19.
In terms of COVID-19 vaccination willingness, it is most often respondents with a low socioeconomic background or with a migration background who are not yet vaccinated. Among the unvaccinated, it is most often male respondents and respondents with a migration background who show a high willingness to get vaccinated in the future.
The preliminary results are based on data of 2 986 participants collected by the YAC team in August and September 2021 and allow for initial observations concerning the young resident population. The report on the preliminary results focuses on COVID-19 specific aspects, such as change in coping and concern with the pandemic, attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccinations as well as on opinions and feelings among young people. After last year’s survey and report, the aim of this second survey within the YAC project is to keep monitoring the situation of young people in Luxembourg throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and analyse its short-, medium- and long-term consequences. The project has received support from the Ministry of Education, Childhood and Youth and the FNR.
More information about the project: