Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Today's youth aren't 'ego-driven slackers' after all

Date:
March 16, 2010
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Today's youth are generally not the self-centered, antisocial slackers that previous research has made them out to be, according to a provocative new study.

Today's youth are generally not the self-centered, antisocial slackers that previous research has made them out to be, according to a provocative new study co-authored by a Michigan State University psychologist.

Related Articles


In a scientific analysis of nearly a half-million high-school seniors spread over three decades, MSU's Brent Donnellan and Kali Trzesniewski of the University of Western Ontario argue teens today are no more egotistical -- and just as happy and satisfied -- as previous generations.

"We concluded that, more often than not, kids these days are about the same as they were back in the mid-1970s," said Donnellan, associate professor of psychology.

The study appears in the research journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. Donnellan acknowledges that many people will be surprised by the findings, which refute previous studies classifying today's youth as selfish loafers with extremely high levels of self-esteem.

But while much previous research has relied on "convenience studies" of relatively small samples of young adults, Donnellan said, the current study analyzes the psychological profile data of 477,380 high school seniors from 1976 to 2006. The data comes from the University of Michigan's federally funded Monitoring the Future survey, which each year tracks the behaviors, attitudes and values of American students.

In other findings:

  • Today's youth are more cynical and less trusting of institutions than previous generations. But Donnellan said this is generally true of the broader population.
  • The current generation is less fearful of social problems such as race relations, hunger, poverty and energy shortages.
  • Today's youth have higher educational expectations.

Ultimately, Donnellan said, it's common for older generations to paint youth in a negative light -- as lazy and self-absorbed, for example -- which can perpetuate stereotypes. It can be easy, he added, to forget what it's like to grow up.

"Kids today are like they were 30 years ago -- they're trying to find their place in the world, they're trying to carve out an identity, and it can be difficult," Donnellan said. "But lots of research shows that the stereotypes of all groups are much more overdrawn than the reality."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Today's youth aren't 'ego-driven slackers' after all." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315104030.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2010, March 16). Today's youth aren't 'ego-driven slackers' after all. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315104030.htm
Michigan State University. "Today's youth aren't 'ego-driven slackers' after all." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315104030.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins