Teens concerned about financial impact of COVID-19

Research shows financial wellbeing as big a concern among teens as health

NASHVILLE – The financial impact and pressure brought by COVID-19 are weighing heavily on American teenagers, with more than two-thirds of teens (69%) saying they are either somewhat or very concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their families and day-to-day lives, according to a new survey by Junior Achievement USA (JA) and Citizens Bank.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. teens, aged between 13 and 18 and not currently attending college, found that nearly three-quarters of teens (72%) say they have had a discussion with their parents or guardian about finances as a result of COVID-19. Almost a quarter (24%) of teenagers say their parents or caregivers have shared with them their concerns about paying bills while nearly one-in-seven (13%) say their parent or caregiver has lost their job due to COVID-19.

“These survey results show that our kids are not immune to the concerns related to the financial impact of COVID-19,” said Jennifer Galligan, senior development and marketing manager. “We at Junior Achievement are reaching out to parents and caregivers to provide resources to talk to their teens about what’s happening in a way that not only informs but provides reassurance that things will eventually get better.”

Other key findings include:

–    More than half of the teens surveyed (57%) are concerned about how COVID-19 will impact their plans for the future. The only concerns that worry them more include a family member other than a parent or guardian getting sick (60%) or a parent or guardian getting sick (59%).

–    44% of high school juniors and seniors say COVID-19 has impacted their plans to pay for college, with a majority (58%) saying they are now more likely to take out student loans to help pay for college. Meanwhile, 30% said they have had to delay college start date, and 13% said they have changed what school they plan to attend because of COVID-19.

–    More than two in ten teens (22%) have a job outside the home, with 46% saying that they or their families depend on their income for living expenses. Most teens who work (62%) say they would need to frequently violate social distancing recommendations to continue working.

“Families across America are dealing with the short and long-term challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and teenagers are feeling these impacts, while also navigating being home from school and not knowing what the future holds for them,” said Brendan Coughlin, head of consumer banking at Citizens Bank. “Now, more than ever, it is important that banks help their customers navigate these unique and broad implications and provide economic stability for our communities.”

Survey Methodology: 

The JA COVID Impact Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 U.S. teens ages 13-18 not currently enrolled in college, between April 8th and April 14th, 2020, using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee

At Junior Achievement, we give young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future and make smart academic and economic choices. Our volunteer-delivered, relevant, hands-on experiences give students knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. JA programs make a connection between what students learn in school and demonstrate how these lessons can be applied in their lives. JA enhances the relevance of their classroom learning and increases their understanding of the value of staying in school.

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