Fear of growing up is bigger today than in previous generations

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    In Western democracies, young adults are living with their parents for longer, spending more time in education and delaying having children So much so that some commentators have suggested that we need a new term, such as "emerging adulthood", to describe the phase of life between late adolescence and true adulthood. Adding to this picture, a new cross-generational study in International Journal of Behavioural Development of hundreds of undergrads at two US universities finds that students today are more anxious about growing up and maturing than students from previous generations.
    April Smith and her colleagues took advantage of data collected from male and female students at a northeastern private university in 1982, 1992, 2002 and 2012 when they were aged around 20, that included their answers to four statements about "fears of maturity". Specifically, the students rated their agreement with items like "I wish that I could return to the security of childhood" and disagreement with items like "I feel happy that I am not a child anymore" (the questions were part of a larger investigation into eating disorders). The researchers also had access to similar data from female students at a large public university in southeastern USA collected in 2001, 2003, 2009 and 2012.
    The results from both universities revealed a clear trend – students today have more fears about maturing than students of the same age in previous generations. The researchers said this was a worrying result because fear of maturity is associated with negative outcomes including poorer psychological wellbeing.


    Paper: http://jbd.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/06/20/0165025416654302.abstract
    ajanta likes this.
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  3. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    So from the top, let's get the expected, perfunctory rant out of the way:

    Thanks to the consequences of having overprotected this generation on everything ranging from contact with common germs to even facetious verbal abuse[*], the super micro-managed cacotopia of "Daycare State" looms on the horizon. What a contrast: From the days of pioneer rugged individualism to a future of needing a lawyer just to negotiate speaking terms beforehand for avoiding potential offensive language; and requiring an Uncle Karl government to walk beside adults over the hazardous street terrain of everyday life. Slaves had to be sheltered from their incompetence and watched over for their own good, too, by the plantation owner and business elite establishment. Plus, from clergy to former felons who still pass screening, we all know what goes on in childcare institutions. ;-)

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    [*] "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but for harsh words you must direly atone."
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I'll be 73 in a few weeks, but I keep putting off this "growing up" that you refer to. The key is not to have children so you can continue to be the child in your home.
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  7. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    In Canada we currently have some TV spots telling us that children want their "wildhood" back. Apparently that involves "camping" in RVs that have microwaves and hot showers.
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  8. ajanta Registered Senior Member

    Thanks. And now I'm sure WHY I felt something wrong about children. I'm with some of my friends made fun about that ... but it is true.
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    When I got my university diploma in 1967, it was taken for granted that a diploma would get you a damn good job within a couple of weeks. I was actually hired two days after graduation. This was the beginning of the 3rd-generation computer revolution (e.g., the IBM 360 but there were several other similar mainframes), and anybody who could follow a flowchart was snapped up on the spot. Within five years I was making more money than my dad--an engineer in an aircraft plant.

    That stage of the economy is way behind us now. College graduates, even those who took their studies seriously and chose a major with a future (e.g. business administration rather than art history), are living in their parents' basements and taking part-time jobs at WalMart.

    If you think this is hard on the kids, think about their parents! These folks are squeezed between helping to support their own parents (who are living into their 90s) in addition to continuing to support the children whom they assumed would be helping THEM!

    I hate to use clichés, but this is a case where it's quite appropriate to say, "It's the economy, Stupid!" When kids look ahead to the future, and DON'T SEE ONE, I can't blame them for being afraid to grow up.

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