Writer Finds Teens Today Really Different From Previous Generations

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 4:17pm
Updated: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 1:55pm
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Jean Twenge

We often think about teens as in a hurry to grow up, get out of their parents house and get out of high school.

But the newest generation of teens doesn’t fit that mold. A new study found that teens today are really different than your or my generation was when we were in high school.

Jean Twenge is a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, and she looked at several large surveys of U.S. adolescents from 1976 until 2016 and how often they reported engaging in “adult” activities like drinking and dating.

And they found high school seniors today are less likely to have their driver’s license, work during the school year, go out without their parents, to date or have sex, and to drink alcohol. And this holds true across demographics like social class and region.

Twenge has written a book about this phenomenon called "iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy —and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood." I spoke with her more about it.

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