Quality of Life Among Young Finnish Adults not in Employment or Education

  • Antti KivijärviEmail author
  • Sanna Aaltonen
  • Leena Forma
  • Jussi Partanen
  • Martta Myllylä
  • Pekka Rissanen


Throughout Europe, there have been constant efforts to calculate the number of young adults not in employment or education. Less knowledge exists on the subjective wellbeing of this hard-to-reach group. In this article we examine the self-reported quality of life (QoL) of young Finnish adults not in employment or education. Original data was drawn from structured and supervised interviews (n = 147) conducted among young adults (16–30) not in employment or education to set it against a nationally representative sample (n = 575) of their counterparts by using WHOQOL-BREF as the main instrument. To reveal the key characteristics of QoL among young adults not in employment and education, the original data was analysed both quantitatively, using descriptive and multivariate methods, and qualitatively, using content analysis. According to the results, most young adults not in employment or education suffer from shortcomings in QoL, mostly in the physical, psychological and social domains. Loneliness and financial difficulties are the independent variables that are most strongly and systematically associated with low QoL. In the respondents’ accounts, deficiencies in psychological QoL in particular are explained by long-term detachments from peers and experiences of being excluded. Financial difficulties are linked with the diminished ability to maintain physical health and with increased stress and anxiety. In some accounts, poor physical and mental conditions were given as reasons for not being in employment or education.


Quality of life Young adults Marginalisation Loneliness Multiple approach design 



This research was funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland, grant no. 303615/303650.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

This research has been approved by the ethical research committee of the University of Eastern Finland.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) and Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Finnish Youth Research SocietyHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Faculty of Social Sciences (Health Sciences)University of TampereTampereFinland
  3. 3.National Institute of Health and WelfareHelsinkiFinland

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