Gen Z Teens Lonelier, More Apt to Use Therapy, Less Likely to Do Drugs

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by Deseret News.

When it comes to Gen Z teenagers, you can discard the old saw that “kids will be kids,” similar across generations based on their age and maturity level. Gen Z is different.

Ask young adults in Gen Z about their teen years and you will learn that, compared to previous generations:

  • More teens in Gen Z felt lonely and isolated.
  • They were less likely to have a significant other in their teen years.
  • They didn’t hang out with other teens as much.
  • With parents likely to be working full time, they didn’t have as many family meals together.
  • They are much less likely to have attended religious services regularly.
  • They consumed less alcohol, drugs, and tobacco products.
  • They were less likely to have a part-time or summer job.
  • They were more likely to have had therapy as teens.

That’s all according to “Generation Z and the Transformation of American Adolescence: How Gen Z’s Formative Experiences Shape Its Politics, Priorities and Future,” a new survey report from the American Enterprise Institute’s Survey Center on American Life.

In the report, Gen Z was considered to be those born between 1997 and 2012. Often, there’s a year or two variation in when different analyses consider a generation to have begun or ended. By this reckoning, Gen Z’s adults looking back on their teen years are between 20 and 26.

Daniel A. Cox directs the Survey Center on American Life and is a senior fellow in polling and public opinion at the American Enterprise Institute. He told Deseret News that formative events help define generations.

The report itself says that Gen Z’s cohort has a distinctive demographic profile. About half of Generation Z is non-Hispanic white, compared to 7 in 10 baby boomers. More than a third of Gen Z adults say they are not religiously affiliated, which is twice the number of boomers who say that.

“Being a member of a more diverse generation raises the probability of regular social interactions with people who do not share your racial or religious background, sexual identity or sexual orientation,” Cox and his co-authors wrote. “Diversity exposes people to a wider array of backgrounds and encourages commitment to pluralism. It’s not a coincidence that Gen Z adults are more likely than older generations to believe that America’s diversity is a source of strength for the country.”

The survey included a random sample of 5,055 adults living in the U.S., including in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., conducted Aug. 11-20.

Source: Deseret News

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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