Is the claim that 'modern youths are mentally fragile' really correct?

In July 2020, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation chairman Ita Buttrose said, 'Young workers seem to be less resilient than they were when we were young.' Has caused. Professor Peter O'Connor , who studies business administration at Queensland University of Technology , explains whether young people are actually mentally fragile.

Yes Ita, younger workers might actually be less resilient. But all workers should be thanked

78-year-old Buttrose said, 'Youth workers lack mental resilience,' in the context of arguing that 'work conditions need to be improved for young workers.' In the field, the claim that “young people today are lacking in mental resilience” is widely heard. At the same time, there is controversy as to whether the youth's mental recovery is actually weaker than it was before, or whether only middle-aged and older people think so.

O'Connor points out that there have been decades of research on youth's mental resilience. He added, 'Most studies clearly show that young people, on average, are less mentally resilient than older people,' he said. It is not stable and claims low tolerance for uncertainty.

A 2018 study by O'Connor et al. (PDF file) found that younger workers were less able to deal with ambiguous situations than older workers and were more likely to worry about uncertainty. Was shown. Although it is not clear what causes age to deal with uncertain situations or differences in mental resilience, older people may be more resilient than younger people as they mature as they age. There is also.

With the pandemic of a new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) occurring and people's working environment changing drastically, Mr. O'Connor is investigating how workers are dealing with sudden changes in the working environment. I will. Preliminary analysis suggests that younger workers are more stressed than older workers, suggesting less satisfaction. O'Conner argues that these results are not due to young workers being underpaid or having small children.

However, although many studies do report significant differences between age and mental resilience, O'Connor notes that the differences should be relatively small. .. O'Connor's survey also found that some young people were very mentally resilient, while others were poorly mentally resilient.

A more important question is whether the older people were younger and more mentally resilient than the younger ones. Oconner points out that there is no clear answer to this, but some studies show that modern youth are less mentally resilient and more likely to feel anxious than youth decades ago. Is shown.

For example, a study investigating the mental status of children living in the United States between 1952 and 1993 reported that children in the 1980s felt more anxious than children in the 1950s. In addition, a study comparing university students from 2004 to 2008 with university students before 1987 suggested that university students in the 2000s were mentally unhealthy and had low mental resilience. A study conducted in Australia also reported that modern adolescents are more neurotic and less optimistic than their predecessors .

Psychologists Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff wrote in their writing that the influence of overprotective parents and others made it difficult for children to be exposed to the challenges and stressors they had to overcome. I wonder if this is the reason why the resilience is decreasing. Also, there is a possibility that it may be easy to fall into ' all or nothing or thinking ' due to the influence of overprotective parents.

O'Connor does say that while studies have shown that younger workers are less mentally resilient than older workers, they should be considered a separate issue from improving the working environment. Buttrose said, 'We need more transparency in the workplace and the experience of being grateful to work', but it is important not only for younger workers but also for older workers, and improving the working environment is necessary for younger workers. He argued that it should be done regardless of the mental resilience of the worker.

in Science, Posted by log1h_ik