US Millennial Characteristics

Interviews with 1,029 young people ages 18 to 29 in 2012 were supervised by Professor Jeffrey Arnett who developed the concept of emerging adulthood.  They are most likely to define adulthood as being responsible for yourself: Only 16% get regular financial help from their parents. Most of the students are also working. More than half (55%) have contact with their parents almost every day, plus 24% communicate at least a few times a week. However, 30% feel their parents are more involved than they want them to be; Latino and African American young adults are more like to have this viewpoint than white respondents. Similar to other studies, they’re altruistic as 86% want to have a career that does some good and 79% think it’s more important to enjoy work than make a lot of money.
Most (four out of five) of the young Americans are satisfied with their lives but nearly one-third report they are often depressed and 30% often feel life is not going well for them. Younger people, women, and those from lower economic backgrounds more often expressed difficulties. As to whom they rely on for support, they said romantic partner, mothers, friends, and fathers (only 5%) in that order. Nearly half (47%) said they sometimes spend too much time on social networking sites and about a third feel anxious if they can’t check electronic message every few hours. More than one-quarter are not in a romantic relationship (29%) but most (86%) expect to have a lasting marriage. As many men as women expect to have to give up some career goals to nurture family life. Less than half think it’s OK to have hook up sexually without emotional involvement (33% of women and 52% of men think it’s OK in the biggest gender gap).
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett and Joseph Schwab, the Clark University Poll of Emerging Adults, December 2012.

Click to access clark-university-poll-emerging-adults-findings.pdf

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