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Monitoring socioeconomic and mental health trajectories through the COVID-19 pandemic

Woman working out finances
Published: November 2020

This research investigates how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people’s mental health and financial situation, and how this differs among different groups of the UK population.

This research aims to identify who has felt the deepest and the longest-lasting impact on their financial situation and their mental health from the COVID-19 pandemic, and how these two impacts are related. By using data collected both before and since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, NatCen is investigating who was hit the hardest by the initial shock to the UK economy and the lockdown restrictions introduced, and how they have recovered since then.

Methodology

This research project analyses data collected through Understanding Society’s COVID-19 survey, linked to pre-pandemic data from nine waves of Understanding Society (the UK Household Longitudinal Study) collected since 2009. Understanding Society is a nationally representative sample of households, with each household visited every 12 months. From April 2020 it has also conducted regular surveys asking respondents about their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. This allows us to track individuals’ responses over time, while controlling for a wide range of contextual factors measured at multiple time points.

This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of the UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19 (grant number ES/V009877/1)

Read the first report: Furlough and mental health

Read the second report: Finances and mental health