They’re often pegged as the civic-minded, do-gooding generation. But while they’re still optimistic about their own personal prospects, a new study finds that today’s youth are often more skeptical of the country’s institutions than the young generations that preceded them.
The Millennials also are as mistrusting of other people as the gloomy “slackers” of Generation X were 20 years ago — or even more so.
Jean Twenge, lead author of the study that will be published early this month in the online edition of the journal Psychological Science, says the current atmosphere — fed by the Great Recession, mass shootings, and everything from church sex abuse scandals and racial strife to the endless parade of publicly shamed politicians, athletes and celebrities — may help explain why this young generation’s trust levels hit an all-time low in 2012, the most recent data available.
In the mid-1970s, when baby boomers were coming of age, about a third of high school seniors agreed that “most people can be trusted.”
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