The Economic Stress Model in Emerging Adulthood: The role of social relationships and financial capability. Emerging Adulthood
Families mobilize psychosocial resources to attune negative consequences of economic hardship, but research is lacking among youth. We propose an Economic Stress Model in Emerging Adulthood (ESM-EA) conceptualizing age-salient social relationships and financial capability as mediators between economic hardship and well-being.
The ESM-EA was tested in a three-wave prospective study following the 2008 economic recession, as part of the Finnish Educational Transitions studies. The sample consisted of 551 emerging adults (55.5% female) who participated at ages 23, 25, and 28. Economic pressures and financial capability mediated the effect of economic hardship on well-being, whereas social relationships did not. Individuals with an unfavorable financial situation at age 25 were more likely to show lower life satisfaction and higher depressive symptoms at 28 when they reported a higher level of economic pressures and a lower level of financial capability.
Findings emphasize emerging adults’ age-salient financial adjustments and management in enhancing well-being.