The Lingering Effects of Youth Experiencing Disconnection

Being disconnected, out of school and unemployed as a young person is potentially traumatic. These experiences can have lasting impacts on income, employability, health and well-being. The effects grow the longer a young person is disconnected. And the effects linger over time.

These findings appear in a recent report, “Two Futures: The Economic Case for Keeping Youth on Track,” by Measure for America. The report is the first to follow a cohort of what the group terms “disconnected youth” or “opportunity youth” over the course of about fifteen years.

Recently, Next City sat down with the Forum’s Karen Pittman to discuss the report and its implications for the youth-serving field.

Karen stated that the Measure of America report provides hard evidence to support investments in programs that help young people at all age ranges – not just the earliest interventions.

“The fact that young people who are disconnected from schools or the labor market don’t do as well as young who stay connected in that 1-24 range – that’s not news. We know that,” Pittman says. “But the idea that the extent of the gap between the connected and the disconnected gets greater 15 years out – that is news. They don’t catch up. It’s a lingering effect.”