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University of British Columbia

Dr. Rod Knight (Principal Investigator), Dr. Marie Jauffret-Roustide (Co-PI), Dr. Pierre-julien Coulaud, Dr. Danya Fast, Dr. Travis Salway, Dr. Olivier Ferlatte, Pr. Karine Bertrand, Maxime Blanchette, Naseeb Bolduc

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Study Design:

The France-Canada Observatory on COVID-19, Youth Health, and Social well-being (FOCUS) survey is a mixed-methods study with repeated online surveys and qualitative interviews of young adults ages 18-29 from Canada and France. The first online survey took place from October to December 2020, and the second survey started in July 2021 and is still ongoing until September 2021. Qualitative interviews with young adults in Canada (Vancouver and Montréal) and France (Paris and Bordeaux) will be conducted early Fall 2021 (September-October 2021).

Study Sample:

The study used convenience sampling to gather responses from young adults ages 18 to 29. A total of 8424 young adults (4,287 in Canada) participated in the first online survey, including 853 respondents from BC.

Research Questions:

The study aimed to (1) describe evolving COVID-19-related measures and structural adaptations that influence social and health outcomes among socially disadvantaged groups of youth in Canada and France; and (2) measure and monitor trends in the determinants of sexual health, substance use, and mental health-related outcomes among youth in Canada and France in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Preliminary Findings:

Infographics of the main findings from the first online survey are available on the study website. Overall, 86% of participants in BC reported feeling lonely and stressed. More than two thirds (66%) reported symptoms of moderate-to-severe depression and 31% reported experiencing COVID-19-related anxiety. In BC, 70% of respondents reported that they wanted to access mental health services in the last 6 months, but only 46% were able to gain access to the mental health services.

In the ongoing data analysis, there are significant associations between depressive symptoms and reporting a high level of compliance with COVID-19 preventive behaviours (e.g., staying at home, avoiding meeting friends), evidence of mediating roles of socio-economic issues and access to health care services on depression, and associations between mental health outcomes and increases in substance use (e.g., alcohol use, cannabis use).

Existing and Forthcoming Publications and Outputs:

Manuscripts informed by this study are in preparation. Preliminary findings from this study have been shared in a presentation at the Knowledge Exchange Program with the BC Ministry of Health.

Contact Information for Updates:

Naseeb Bolduc (Research Coordinator):
Dr. Pierre-julien Coulaud (Director):

Find more information on the study homepage

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Related publications

  • Coulaud, Pj., Jesson, J., Bolduc, N. et al. Young Adults’ Mental Health and Unmet Service Needs in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic Across Canada and France. Community Ment Health J (2022).

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