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How Are Members of the iGen so Different and How Can We Better Understand Them?

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      Like members of each generation, the members of iGen, previously referred to as Generation Z, face different challenges than the generations before them. To help gain greater insight into this generation and their needs as learners, employees, and sons and daughters, I recommend Jean M. Twenge, PhD’s 2017 book, iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.

      Twenge describes iGen members as: “Born in 1995 and later, they grew up with cell phones, had an Instagram page before they started high school and do not remember a time before the Internet.”

      She goes further in noting members of this generation are concerned with individualism, including a broad sense of equality, income inequality, including their concerns to make the right choices to be financially successful, an obsession with safety and fear about their economic future, and more. In addition, she notes that this generation “is at the forefront of the worst mental health crisis in decades, with rates of teen depression and suicide skyrocketing since 2011.”

      Twenge’s conclusions are drawn from her research and four national studies conducted with over 11 million Americans since the 1960’s. In her book, she identifies 10 trends shaping members of iGen and supports these trends with many graphs, as well as references. .Each of the trends is addressed in its own chapter: In No Hurry, Internet, In Person No More, Insecure, Irreligious, Insulated But Not Intrinsic, Income Insecurity, Indefinite, Inclusive, and Independent.

      I highly recommend Twenge’s book as a resource for anyone who wants to better understand the needs of the members of iGen.

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