As this young group of digital natives explodes into adulthood and beyond, there are many situations that might not be a good fit for the way they do things – and situations they’ve inherited from previous generations which are likely to cause anxiety or stress.
This demographic is far more diverse in every way, right from the life partners they choose, their gender preferences, the way they are motivated, right through to how they socialize than previous sectors of the population.
Although close in age to their older Millennial siblings, work colleagues and friends, their belief systems are very different.
If you are Gen Z parents, employers, college tutor, or any other leader with influence over this group of young teens and adults, there are many issues they’re likely to encounter where you can guide, assist and connect with them.
Let’s start by looking below at the short answer to some of the worrying situations socially, in the workplace and at home that these young pioneers may face.
What are some of the Life and Authority issues faced by Gen Z? Many concerns cause anxiety and worry amongst the Gen Z group, including stressful media headlines, mental health issues caused by social media overuse, financial worries, overbearing authority, employment, and the environment are amongst the most worrying issues this young demographic are facing
Now we’ve taken an overview of some of the concerns of this cohort, we can delve a little deeper and explore some of the points of concern for generation Z.
Overbearing media headline issues ranging from immigration to sexual assault, are causing serious stress amongst the young adult and teen members of Generation Z. Top of the list of events concerning worry and concern among this young group is hearing of mass shootings according to a report entitled ‘Stress in America’.
It appears this worried group of young people reports more stress than previous demographics surrounding media news reports, and cite issues such as deportation and separation of migrant families as a significant source of anxiety.
stress amongst members of Generation Z.
Current affairs are a source of stress for many people and adults in other generations as we can see below, but vulnerable Gen Z youngsters are being affected the most by the sensationalist reporting designed to sell newspapers and increase viewing figures than merely factually reporting. This group of our population appears to struggle most with issues they feel are out of their control.
Mental health issues
An ongoing U.K. study by experts shows mental health problems and self-harm are on the rise among British teenagers despite significant decreases from previous generations regarding antisocial behavior and substance misuse.
Depressive symptoms among generation Z teenagers and young adults are worryingly up to two-thirds higher than the millennial generation.
This group of anxious youngsters is more likely to suffer from poor body image and have poor sleep patterns according to experts at the University College of London.
This research makes a connection between higher social media usage than other groups as the main driver for this behavior.
Girls who used social media were reported as having higher levels of depression than their male counterparts. The research also showed that Generation Z girls were using social media at a higher rate than boys, with two-fifths of girls studied had experiences with cyberbullying.
This study has promoted a need for growth of mental health support staff to meet the demands of these young teens and adults. It outlines clearly the pressures on today’s youngsters and calls for the social media industry to more tightly regulate their platforms while families and parents have been asked to play their part by putting mobile curfews in place at bedtimes.
worryingly up to two-thirds higher than the millennial generation.
Money and finances
2018 brought a rise in overall financial concerns for Generation Z. Research shows that during 2019 young teens and adults are far more concerned about their finances this year of writing, as compared to 2018.
A large number of this fledgling cohort are worried and concerned about difficult financial situations ahead of them. The rising costs of essential and basic items such as food and travel, is one of their biggest concerns as this young sector of the population fear how they will afford to travel to schools, college, their employment and also to socialize. Another big fear for this group is that they will struggle to afford food, according to recent studies.
Almost half of this studied group admitted they would find financial conversations with those around them, such as family and friends difficult. Many of them use their overdraft to socialize so they aren’t saving for house deposits and a sizeable number cite fear over job stability is also a feature that makes them reluctant to save as their income isn’t suitably guaranteed.
The recent phenomenon described as FOMO “fear of missing out” was a chief factor in why this young group is spending more than they can afford on events such as concerts, cinema, and other high-cost entertainment activities.
Many employers and business leaders are worried about how the gen z group of young adults and teenagers who are set to become the next workforce, will fit in with their current structures.
Their reported need for instant gratification and the fact they can be resistance to authority are causing some businesses to rethink their strategies when waiting for this disruptive workforce to join the ranks of the millennials and other previous generations in the workplace.
It’s been reported this group has poor face to face skills and this will be an issue that any employer will need to address. However, their reluctance to attend long, drawn-out training programs may force companies to rethink their training structures.
Information from recent studies show that that a very low number of managers have been actively trained in expecting this new younger group of employees, so it remains to be seen whether organizations will put in the managerial training required to connect with these youngsters and over three quarters of managers involved in research, don’t feel prepared.
According to other research, companies are also expecting there to be a certain amount of conflict between gen z and their previous cohorts and generation Z’s predicted need for quick promotion will encourage employers and those involved in HR to look at new strategies to engage with Gen Z and offer them the speedy advancement in their careers they are looking for.
Many issues which may have passed previous generations by, or they simply had no knowledge of, were situations such as the pollution left by manufacturing processes, the conditions in factories, or the length of time it takes for synthetic fibers to decompose. The younger and more environmentally aware members of our population are sitting up and paying attention. Much of the work started by their predecessors, the millennials are being continued by their younger siblings.
There is a call from Generation Z to local and more global leaders to prioritize the future of our planet. Back in 2016, The United Nations was presented a study at the Climate Change Conference which demonstrates clearly how The Generation Z tribe is passionate about issues concerning the huge change in the climate.
This survey of over 5,000 young people states that the issues governing the change in our global climate were one of the main priorities of 40% of the generation Z group spread across 20 countries, who were surveyed.
This concern with the welfare of our planet, beat terrorism, the economy and poverty hands down.
It’s unsurprising that well over three-quarters of this fledgling sector of our society believed that large businesses and corporations were back of the queue in terms of the trust Gen Z has on changing the climate and that they believe the private sector will be the self-starters and leaders of this necessary change. They are looking to smaller companies to begin using renewal energy, but are also looking to the government to support this move.
Generation Z as many other generations before them has daily issues and concerns to contend with. Merely taking over from the last cohort once they become fully-fledged adults, can be a difficult transition for any group of youngsters.
These young people have similar worries as previous generations. The older and more worldly-wise millennials are currently holding the mantle, bringing with them the passion of the youth.
This group of young teens and adults need guidance, help, and understanding by the older more experienced adults, employers, academic leaders and examples to be set by politicians and those in control. This will enable them to navigate the world around them and succeed in the last generation with courage and confidence.