Mental health in work – different generations in the swells of work life

Young adults face many challenges as they transition to the ever-changing work life. In Finnish work life, particular concern has arisen about the mental health and well-being problems of young adults, which are estimated to have increased. Despite this, young adults are motivated to pursue sustainable careers and it is important to support young people in these goals. In our project, we will produce a multi-layered picture of the occupational well-being and mental health of young people in Finland and the key factors that contribute to them.
Nainen pitää esitystä yleisön edessä.




  • Understanding various states of well-being in young adults; 
  • Monitoring development trends of well-being; 
  • Finding out how individual factors, as well as those related to the work and life situation, are related to well-being at work and mental health; 
  • Identifying phenomena specific to young adults by comparing them with the older population. 

The project, which will be implemented as a longitudinal study, will produce multidimensional information on the occupational well-being and mental health of Finns. In addition to mental health symptoms (symptoms of depression and anxiety), we will also look at positive mental health (thriving) and how the latter can be promoted. In addition, we will produce information about the resources that support the work ability of young adults and produce well-being in the changing work life. 

Young adults have different starting points, work experiences, individual qualities and aspirations. We want to diversify the perception of stereotypical characterizations of the age group. Instead, we wish to identify experiences made up of combinations of well-being and illfare and what defines them. 

The research project also provides valuable and up-to-date information on the changes, experiences and impacts of work during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the youngest generation in work life. 

Data and methods

  • We will carry out two questionnaire surveys, the first in spring 2021. Our aim is to collect a nationally representative sample of young adults (23–34 years of age) and a comparison group of older persons (35–65 years of age). A follow-up questionnaire will be sent to participants in spring 2022. 
  • The questionnaire data shall be analyzed using statistical methods. 

Our experts

Jie Li

Jie Li

Email [at]
+358 30 474 2922


Finnish Institute of Occupational Health