The youngest, most affected by the pandemic

The XI Barometer of Families in Spain, carried out by GAD3 for The Family Watch Foundation, shows that people under 30 years of age are the age group that has sought psychological help most often for problems derived from the pandemic.

Maria José Atienza-January 10, 2022-Reading time: 4 minutes
young pandemic

People under 30 years of age have been the age group most affected by the consequences that the coronavirus pandemic has had on Spanish families.

34% of the 18-24 year-olds have needed psychological help and have used anxiolytics for the first time in these months.

Internet: the minefield

One of the points of concern arising from this Barometer The main reason for the increase in the consumption of "adult" content during the confinement of families is the increase in the consumption of "adult" content during the confinement.

Although this barometer, as highlighted by Sara MoraisThe GAD3 general director, who does not measure consumption but rather perception, is striking in that 68.7% of those surveyed consider that this type of behavior has increased during confinement. More than half of them also highlight the ease of access to inappropriate content through digital film and entertainment platforms.

Internet access through mobile devices, at an increasingly younger age, is a key concern for Spanish families.

Parents point to the growth of harmful behaviors such as excessive use and time spent on social networks.

The most feared problems focus on the exposure of their image, insults and insults and the inability to filter inappropriate content. They also point to possible changes in self-esteem derived from the perceived idealization of influencer profiles.

Within this area, 85% of those interviewed are in favor of increasing the regulation of advertising with minors, especially with regard to the image of minors on television and networks.

About 80% of respondents believe that advertising shows preteens with adult attitudes and that a sexualized image of preteens is given.

In this line, Maria José OlestiThe general manager of the The Family Watch Foundation pointed out the Foundation's work with operators and political parties to ensure that, when contracting an Internet line, access to certain content is limited by default, as is already the case in other countries.

Starting a family, yes, but for the long term.

Starting a family still seems to be a particularly difficult task in the eyes of younger people. Those under the age of 45 give priority to financial stability and further education over starting a family.

In this sense, eight out of ten interviewees think that there are more difficulties in forming a
Only half of those surveyed say that starting a family is well valued socially and in the workplace, especially among those over 45 years of age.

This negative perception of the social and support environment is one of the most important obstacles to the formation of families in their 30s and 40s. As Olesti points out: "If we don't offer young people opportunities and make it easier for them to start a family and even become independent, it will be difficult for them to consider having children".

Olesti also alludes to the physical and emotional toll that the pandemic has taken on families. Something that makes evident "the need to reflect on the family and family policies" so that these are really effective and help families.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Although the data are far from the perceptions prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2019, the GAD3 study reveals a slight optimism in Spanish families. In this sense, the percentage increase among those under 45 years of age in relation to starting a family stands out.

If last year, at the height of the pandemic and with total confinement still recent, only 26% of respondents in this age group considered the possibility of starting a family in the next few years, this point has risen in this edition to 46%, although it still lags behind issues such as prospering in professional life or furthering one's studies.

There is also a perceived increase in the belief in the improvement of the economic situation, both at the household and national levels. A year ago, the outlook of the majority of respondents showed a negative picture of the overall economic future at 65%. In this edition, the perception of an overall economic downturn has dropped to 42.7%. Those who think their personal situation will improve in the coming months has also risen to 24%.

In the words of Morais, "Spaniards have resumed their life plans that had been held back by the pandemic, such as buying a house, a car or starting a family".

The general manager of GAD3 emphasizes that in the coming months, economic indicators such as real estate, which have been halted by the pandemic, will increase.


The Family Barometer is conducted through telephone surveys, carried out in the second half of last December. The surveys were made to 601 households throughout the country, including the Autonomous Cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

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