Students Of Today Are More Afraid Of Growing Up Than In Previous Generations

Posted on July 8, 2016

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 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.

It's also worth noting that it's possible that all age groups today (not just young adults) are more anxious about ageing than were people of a similar age in previous eras. Still, as Smith and her colleagues put it, the new findings certainly suggest that "today's emerging adults seem reluctant to take on life's next chapter" and that we perhaps need to do more to remind them that "maturity's wisdom, knowledge and experience are precious, hard-won and nothing to fear."

To read the full article, click the link below.


Category(s):Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions

Source material from BPS Research Digest


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