Exploring fear of the future in young adults: An MSc study

Tilly Robinson; Janine O’Reilley; James O’Connor; Kieran Slocum; Faheema Patel; Felicity Page; Ceri Phelps; Paul Hutchings

1University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Townhill Campus, Swansea, SA2 0UT; trobinson.133746@student.uwtsd.ac.uk

2University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Townhill Campus, Swansea, SA2 0UT; joreilly.142373@student.uwtsd.ac.uk

3University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Townhill Campus, Swansea, SA2 0UT; joconnor.142259@student.uwtsd.ac.uk

4University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Townhill Campus, Swansea, SA2 0UT; kslocum.141902@student.uwtsd.ac.uk

5University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Townhill Campus, Swansea, SA2 0UT; F.Patel@uwtsd.ac.uk

6University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Townhill Campus, Swansea, SA2 0UT; Felicity.Page@uwtsd.ac.uk

7University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Townhill Campus, Swansea, SA2 0UT; ceri.phelps@uwtsd.ac.uk

8University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Townhill Campus, Swansea, SA2 0UT; paul.hutchings@uwtsd.ac.uk

5th May 2017

Abstract

The aim of this study, carried out as part of the MSc Applied Social & Health Psychology Professional Research Skills Module study was to explore the extent to which young adults in the UK are reporting fears or feelings of anxiety towards their future following the political and global events of 2016. Literature has demonstrated that 58 % of young people felt Brexit would damage their futures, and cause future issues with buying a house or obtaining a stable job (Prince’s Trust Annual Youth Index, 2017) whilst over a quarter of young adults do not feel in control of their lives with 41 % being more anxious about life than they did a year ago, (Prince’s Trust Annual Youth Index, 2017). Participants ranged in age from 18 – 24 and completed an online survey capturing data on political engagement question, future anxiety, optimism, locus of control, self-efficacy and social media use.  Data collection is currently ongoing but with over 60 responses so far this paper will report the results of a hierarchical regression in order to identify which psychological and demographic variables predictor greater fear of the future.  Preliminary analysis of additional free text data suggest that young people have significant fears and concerns about their future, and this data will be subjected to a thematic content analysis and also reported here.