Generation Z—teenagers and young adults between ages 15 and 21—believe the state of the nation holds the blame for their stress levels, according to the “Stress in America” survey by the American Psychological Association. Gun violence, sexual assault, and immigration dominate news cycles, and these issues are linked to stress among young adults.
Dr. Kathryn Smerling, a collaborative psychotherapist, says the survey indicates that Gen Z has a right to be upset. “These kids are the first generation that’s had to deal with so many mass shootings,” she says. “Being afraid to leave your house will take its toll.”
Discovering sex while sexual harassment and abuse are so widespread also may hinder their own coming-of-age learning and experiences. Dr. Smerling says the chaos that has ignited in America is not what this generation wants. Gen Z is more interested in what makes them happy than what makes them money. They want to see change for the better.