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Are Today’s Teenagers Doomed? [AUDIO]

Generation Y is more materialistic and less inclined to work hard for what they want, according to a study published this week in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Flickr User Alex E. Proimos

To be fair, every generation thinks the younger crowd is “headed to hell in a hand-basket.”

According to Rutgers sociology professor Deborah Carr, though, there are plenty of reasons to help back up that claim these days.

One reason she offered is family size. Children have fewer siblings than the baby boomers had in the past, so they get a bigger slice of the wealth from parents.

“Also, on top of that, there is this culture today that emphasizes instant fame over work,” Carr continued. “Anybody who thinks they can sing goes on American Idol. Anybody who thinks they can do anything of interest goes on YouTube.”

Advances in technology have allowed teenagers instant access to any information or satisfaction they need within 30 seconds. That need for immediacy among the younger generation could be spilling over into other aspects of their lives.

The no-work mindset may have set in at an earlier age for some millennials, Carr added. Kids playing organized sports are getting a trophy or ribbon just for participating, and not for being the best.

“If you give everybody a prize all the time, that might take away from this desire to work to be number one. You could actually be number 12 and still be rewarded for that,” she said.

The current economic climate could be offering a nasty wake-up call to older teens, even the ones who have been working hard their whole lives. Despite the years of determination, the real world isn’t offering as many jobs as in the past.

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