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Concept: Generation Y


In four large, nationally representative surveys (N = 11.2 million), American adolescents and emerging adults in the 2010s (Millennials) were significantly less religious than previous generations (Boomers, Generation X) at the same age. The data are from the Monitoring the Future studies of 12th graders (1976-2013), 8th and 10th graders (1991-2013), and the American Freshman survey of entering college students (1966-2014). Although the majority of adolescents and emerging adults are still religiously involved, twice as many 12th graders and college students, and 20%-40% more 8th and 10th graders, never attend religious services. Twice as many 12th graders and entering college students in the 2010s (vs. the 1960s-70s) give their religious affiliation as “none,” as do 40%-50% more 8th and 10th graders. Recent birth cohorts report less approval of religious organizations, are less likely to say that religion is important in their lives, report being less spiritual, and spend less time praying or meditating. Thus, declines in religious orientation reach beyond affiliation to religious participation and religiosity, suggesting a movement toward secularism among a growing minority. The declines are larger among girls, Whites, lower-SES individuals, and in the Northeastern U.S., very small among Blacks, and non-existent among political conservatives. Religious affiliation is lower in years with more income inequality, higher median family income, higher materialism, more positive self-views, and lower social support. Overall, these results suggest that the lower religious orientation of Millennials is due to time period or generation, and not to age.

Concepts: Demographics, Religion, Meditation, Household income in the United States, Spirituality, Generation Y, Generation, Generation X


In the nationally representative General Social Survey, U.S. Adults (N = 33,380) in 2000-2012 (vs. the 1970s and 1980s) had more sexual partners, were more likely to have had sex with a casual date or pickup or an acquaintance, and were more accepting of most non-marital sex (premarital sex, teen sex, and same-sex sexual activity, but not extramarital sex). The percentage who believed premarital sex among adults was “not wrong at all” was 29 % in the early 1970s, 42 % in the 1980s and 1990s, 49 % in the 2000s, and 58 % between 2010 and 2012. Mixed effects (hierarchical linear modeling) analyses separating time period, generation/birth cohort, and age showed that the trend toward greater sexual permissiveness was primarily due to generation. Acceptance of non-marital sex rose steadily between the G.I. generation (born 1901-1924) and Boomers (born 1946-1964), dipped slightly among early Generation X'ers (born 1965-1981), and then rose so that Millennials (also known as Gen Y or Generation Me, born 1982-1999) were the most accepting of non-marital sex. Number of sexual partners increased steadily between the G.I.s and 1960s-born GenX'ers and then dipped among Millennials to return to Boomer levels. The largest changes appeared among White men, with few changes among Black Americans. The results were discussed in the context of growing cultural individualism and rejection of traditional social rules in the U.S.

Concepts: Marriage, Sexual intercourse, Human sexual behavior, Human sexuality, Generation Y, Strauss and Howe, Fornication, Adultery


The tobacco-free generation proposal advocates legislation precluding the sale and supply of tobacco to individuals born after a certain year. The measure is aimed at overcoming defects with current youth access laws that suffer from rite-of-passage and mixed signalling effects. Since its introduction in 2010, the proposal has attracted international attention, highlighting a number of matters that the present short article discusses. Efficacy issues, including retailer compliance, supply by surrogates and illicit sales, are addressed in the broader setting of community adherence to legislation. Encouragement for the likelihood of successful implementation is provided by historical precedents. In principle objections, relating to choice and generational fairness, are considered against the criteria of consistency and proportionality. It is concluded that the measure’s emphasis on the welfare of future generations and its regard for the interests of existing stakeholders provide a feasible opportunity for the ultimate eradication of tobacco supply in appropriate jurisdictions.

Concepts: Present, Sales, The Sale, Proposal, Common law, Generation Y, Generation, Animorphs


Research on immigration and crime has only recently started to consider potential heterogeneity in longitudinal patterns of immigrant offending. Guided by segmented assimilation and life course criminology frameworks, this article advances prior research on the immigration-crime nexus in three ways: using a large sample of high-risk adjudicated youth containing first and second generation immigrants; examining longitudinal trajectories of official and self-reported offending; and merging segmented assimilation and life course theories to distinguish between offending patterns. Data come from the Pathways to Desistance study containing detailed offending and socio-demographic background information on 1,354 adolescents (13.6 % female; n = 1,061 native-born; n = 210 second generation immigrants; n = 83 first generation immigrants) as they transition to young adulthood (aged 14-17 at baseline). Over 84 months we observe whether patterns of offending, and the correlates that may distinguish them, operate differently across immigrant generations. Collectively, this study offers the first investigation of whether immigrants, conditioned on being adjudicated, are characterized by persistent offending. Results show that first generation immigrants are less likely to be involved in serious offending and to evidence persistence in offending, and appear to be on a path toward desistance much more quickly than their peers. Further, assimilation and neighborhood disadvantage operate in unique ways across generational status and relate to different offending styles. The findings show that the risk for persistent offending is greatest among those with high levels of assimilation who reside in disadvantaged contexts, particularly among the second generation youth in the sample.

Concepts: Population, Immigration, Spain, Immigration to the United States, Generation Y, Generation


We examined whether culture-level indices of threat, instability, and materialistic modeling were linked to the materialistic values of American 12th graders between 1976 and 2007 (N = 355,296). Youth materialism (such as the importance of money and of owning expensive material items) increased over the generations, peaking in the late 1980s to early 1990s with Generation X and then staying at historically high levels for Millennials (GenMe). Societal instability and disconnection (e.g., unemployment, divorce) and social modeling (e.g., advertising spending) had both contemporaneous and lagged associations with higher levels of materialism, with advertising most influential during adolescence and instability during childhood. Societal-level living standards during childhood predicted materialism 10 years later. When materialistic values increased, work centrality steadily declined, suggesting a growing discrepancy between the desire for material rewards and the willingness to do the work usually required to earn them.

Concepts: Sociology, The Work, 1990s, Generation Y, Materialism, Generation, Generation X, Kylie Minogue


We use data from the General Social Survey (GSS) over a 40-year period (1973-2012) to evaluate changes in attitudes about pornography and pornography consumption among American young adults. One of the major challenges in making comparisons across birth generations is separating the effect of birth cohort from age and period effects. We use an intrinsic estimator to separately identify the effects of age, birth cohort, and time period using 40 years of repeated cross-section data. We find that, relative to the general population, young people’s beliefs about whether pornography should be illegal have stayed relatively constant over this 40-year period and, if anything, have slightly increased. We also find that pornography consumption has been increasing across birth generations, though this increase has been smaller than would be inferred based on differences across generations at a single point in time, due to a strong age component in consumption patterns.

Concepts: Cohort study, Effect, Sociology, Relative, Periodization, Generation Y, Single, Generation


To investigate cohort effects in arthritis prevalence across four birth cohorts: World War II (born: 1935-1944), older and younger baby boomers (born: 1945-1954 and 1955-1964), and Generation X (born: 1965-1974) and to determine whether birth cohort effects in arthritis prevalence were associated with differences in risk factors over time or period effects.

Concepts: Cohort study, Epidemiology, Demographics, World War II, Baby boomer, Generation Y, Generation, Cultural generations


To determine differences in sociodemographic and health related characteristics of Australian Baby Boomers and Generation X at the same relative age.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Demographics, Generation Y, Cultural generations, Generation X


We report social media (SoMe) utilization trends at an academic radiology department, highlighting differences between trainees and faculty and between Baby Boomers versus Generation X and Millennials.

Concepts: Demographics, Generation Y, Cultural generations, Generation X


Early-life adversity is a potent risk factor for mental-health disorders in exposed individuals, and effects of adversity are exhibited across generations. Such adversities are also associated with poor gastrointestinal outcomes. In addition, emerging evidence suggests that microbiota-gut-brain interactions may mediate the effects of early-life stress on psychological dysfunction. In the present study, we administered an early-life stressor (i.e., maternal separation) to infant male rats, and we investigated the effects of this stressor on conditioned aversive reactions in the rats' subsequent infant male offspring. We demonstrated, for the first time, longer-lasting aversive associations and greater relapse after extinction in the offspring (F1 generation) of rats exposed to maternal separation (F0 generation), compared with the offspring of rats not exposed to maternal separation. These generational effects were reversed by probiotic supplementation, which was effective as both an active treatment when administered to infant F1 rats and as a prophylactic when administered to F0 fathers before conception (i.e., in fathers' infancy). These findings have high clinical relevance in the identification of early-emerging putative risk phenotypes across generations and of potential therapies to ameliorate such generational effects.

Concepts: Infant, Effect, Effectiveness, Breastfeeding, Maternal bond, Paternal bond, Generation Y, Generation