Periods of uncertainty: The experience of at-risk young adult Arabs during the transition to adulthood in the wake of COVID-19

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Abstract

The ongoing COVID-19 global health crisis has both short- and long-term implications for the lives of young adults worldwide, especially young adults from vulnerable communities. The current exploratory study is the first, to our knowledge, that investigates the impact of the pandemic on the lives of at-risk young adult Arabs, who are part of a national minority group in Israel. Twenty-eight at-risk young adults aged 18 to 25 participated in semistructured interviews regarding the experiences, challenges and barriers they faced as emerging adults during the pandemic. Grounded theory analysis and theoretical thematic analysis were used to analyse the interviews. Findings revealed that the pandemic and the policy decisions made in its wake influenced the young adults' lives in primary areas including their financial and occupational status, their social ties and social support networks, their relationships with their biological families and their future plans and goals. The study's findings shed light on the complex reality of at-risk young adults during the pandemic and emphasize the increasing vulnerability of this cohort. The challenges they face as members of a collectivist society and of a national minority group are discussed. Implications for policy and practice highlight the need to increase these young adults' occupational and financial opportunities and to design holistic services that take into account their personal and sociocultural characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild and Family Social Work
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • national minority
  • transition to adulthood
  • young adult Arabs

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