Investigating young adults' mental health and early working life trajectories from a life course perspective: the role of transitions

Ute Bültmann*, Iris Arends, Karin Veldman, Christopher B McLeod, Sander K R van Zon, Benjamin C Amick Iii

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
121 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Many young adults leave the labour market because of mental health problems or never really enter it, through early moves onto disability benefits. Across many countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, between 30% and 50% of all new disability benefit claims are due to mental health problems; among young adults this moves up to 50%-80%.

OUTLINE: We propose a research agenda focused on transitions in building young adults' mental health and early working life trajectories, considering varying views for subgroups of a society. First, we briefly review five transition characteristics, then we elaborate a research agenda with specific research questions.

RESEARCH AGENDA: Our research agenda focuses on transitions as processes, in time and place and as sensitive periods, when examining young adults' mental health and early working life trajectories from a life course perspective. As more and more childhood and adolescent cohorts mature and facilitate research on later life labour market, work and health outcomes, transition research can help guide policy and practice interventions.

FUTURE CROSS-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH: In view of the many challenges young adults face when entering the changing world of work and labour markets, future research on transitions in young adults related to their mental health and early working life trajectories will provide ample opportunities for collaborative cross-disciplinary research and stimulate debate on this important challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-181
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Issue number2
Early online date6-Nov-2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2020


  • mental health
  • life course epidemiology
  • lifecourse
  • childhood circumstances
  • occupational health

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