Youth and the Great Recession: Are values, achievement orientation and outlook to the future affected?

Ingrid Schoon, Jeylan Mortimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This special section brings together leading experts in psychology and sociology to examine the consequences of the Great Recession for young people's values, achievement orientation, and outlook to the future. Evidence from Europe and the United States suggests that the impact of the recession varies for distinct outcomes and by age, the latter pointing to potential sensitive periods for interventions. Although the direct effects of the recession are not strong, they accelerate pre-existing trends towards more prolonged and precarious transitions to independence, and are likely to bring with them long-term scarring with respect to health and well-being. While feelings of self-confidence and self-worth have eroded, young people continue to subscribe to the “American Dream,” the belief that in principle it is possible to make it – even if limitations to one's own capabilities are recognised. Trust in institutions has declined, but support and concern for others have increased, suggesting that in times of economic hardship and uncertainty social relationships become more salient. Young people's response to the recession appears to be less of a “me-first” reaction than “let's help each other”: a form of “collective agency” to counter the inadequacy of social safety nets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 International Union of Psychological Science


  • Aspirations
  • Great Recession
  • Values
  • Young people


Dive into the research topics of 'Youth and the Great Recession: Are values, achievement orientation and outlook to the future affected?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this