Generation Z

Generation Z (or simply Gen Z), colloquially known as zoomers,[1][2] is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years. Most members of Generation Z are the children of Generation X,[3] but some are children of millennials.[4]

As the first social generation to have grown up with access to the Internet and portable digital technology from a young age, members of Generation Z have been dubbed "digital natives",[5][6] even though they are not necessarily digitally literate.[7] Moreover, the negative effects of screen time are most pronounced on adolescents compared to younger children.[8] Compared to previous generations, members of Generation Z in some developed nations tend to be well-behaved, abstemious, and risk-averse.[9] They tend to live more slowly than their predecessors when they were their age,[10][11] have lower rates of teenage pregnancies, and consume alcohol less often,[12][13] but not necessarily addictive drugs.[14][15] Teenagers nowadays seem more concerned with academic performance and job prospects,[9][10] and are better at delaying gratification than their counterparts from the 1960s, despite concerns to the contrary.[16] On the other hand, sexting among adolescents has grown in prevalence though the consequences of this remain poorly understood.[17] Meanwhile, youth subcultures have been quieter, though not necessarily dead.[18][19]

Globally, there is evidence that the average age of pubertal onset among girls has decreased considerably compared to the twentieth century,[20][21] with implications for their welfare and their future.[20][22][23][24] In addition, adolescents and young adults have higher rates of allergies,[25][26] higher awareness and diagnoses of mental health problems,[9][12][27][28] and are more likely to be sleep-deprived.[6][29][30] In many countries, youths are more likely to have intellectual disabilities and psychiatric disorders than older people.[31][32] In some European nations, they are facing declining cognitive abilities, especially among the cognitive elites.[16][33]

Around the world, members of Generation Z are spending more time on their electronic devices and less time reading books than before,[34][35][36] with implications for their attention span,[37][38] their vocabulary,[39][40] and thus their school grades[41] as well as their future in the modern economy.[34] At the same time, reading and writing fan fiction is of vogue worldwide, especially among teenage girls and young women.[42][43] In Asia, educators in the 2000s and 2010s typically sought out and nourished top students whereas in Western Europe and the United States, the emphasis was on low-performers.[44] In addition, East Asian students consistently earned the top spots in international standardized tests during the 2010s.[45][46][47][48]

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Wordswatching was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference zoomer Dictionary.com was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Williams, Alex (September 18, 2015). "Move Over, Millennials, Here Comes Generation Z". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  4. ^ Quigley, Mary (July 7, 2016). "The Scoop on Millennials' Offspring – Gen Z". AARP. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference turner was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ a b Twenge, Jean (October 19, 2017). "Teens are sleeping less – but there's a surprisingly easy fix". The Conversation. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
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  9. ^ a b c "Generation Z is stressed, depressed and exam-obsessed". The Economist. February 27, 2019. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Teenagers are better behaved and less hedonistic nowadays". International. The Economist. January 10, 2018. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  11. ^ Twenge, Jean (September 19, 2017). "Why today's teens aren't in any hurry to grow up". The Conversation. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Chandler-Wilde, Helen (August 6, 2020). "The future of Gen Z's mental health: How to fix the 'unhappiest generation ever'". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  13. ^ UCL (August 6, 2020). "How to fix the 'unhappiest generation ever'". UCL News. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
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  16. ^ a b Protzko, John (May–June 2020). "Kids These Days! Increasing delay of gratification ability over the past 50 years in children". Intelligence. 80 (101451). doi:10.1016/j.intell.2020.101451.
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  20. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference :74 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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  27. ^ American Psychological Association (March 15, 2019). "Mental health issues increased significantly in young adults over last decade". Science Daily. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  28. ^ Schraer, Rachel (February 11, 2019). "Is young people's mental health getting worse?". Health. BBC. Retrieved December 26, 2020.
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  34. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference :13 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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  37. ^ "How Technology Affects the Attention Span of Children". Your Therapy Source. April 18, 2019. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  38. ^ "Too Much Screen Time?". Penn State University. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
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  40. ^ Adams, Richard (April 19, 2018). "Teachers in UK report growing 'vocabulary deficiency'". The Guardian. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  41. ^ Busby, Eleanor (April 19, 2018). "Children's grades at risk because they have narrow vocabulary, finds report". Education. The Independent. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
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  44. ^ Clynes, Tom (September 7, 2016). "How to raise a genius: lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children". Nature. 537 (7619): 152–155. doi:10.1038/537152a. PMID 27604932. S2CID 4459557.
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