The evidence that rampant materialism and wholesale rejection of moral norms and rising narcissism is destroying young people continues to mount.
Martha Irvine's article for the Canadian press is an article on a recent study headed by Jean Twenge, a San Diego State University psychology professor, and five other universities. The study is based on over 77,000 student who took the MMPI test in 2007 and during the Great Depression in 1938.
The changes measured were striking. On mental health problems, "five times as many students in 2007 surpassed thresholds in one or more mental health categories, compared with those who did so in 1938."
They also documented greatly elevated levels of "'hypomania,' a measure of anxiety and unrealistic optimism (from 5 per cent of students in 1938 to 31 per cent in 2007," and depression, which went from from 1 per cent to 6 per cent.
Twenge said the most current numbers may even be low given all the students taking antidepressants and other psychotropic medications, which help alleviate symptoms the survey asks about.Twenge earlier documented similar problems in young people today in Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled - and More Miserable Than Ever Before.
"Several studies also have captured the growing interest in being rich, with 77 per cent of those questioned for UCLA's 2008 national survey of college freshmen saying it was "essential" or "very important" to be financially well off."Twenge has a website about her new book, The Narcissism Epidemic which documents the current shift affecting both students and their parents in America.