High hopes in a grim world: Emerging adults' views of their futures and "Generation X"
Views of the future were explored among emerging adults (aged 21 through 28). In general, they viewed their personal futures optimistically and believed their lives would be as good or better than their parents' lives in aspects such as financial wellbeing, career achievements, personal relationships, and overall quality of life. Interview responses indicated that many participants emphasized personal relationships, especially marriage, as the foundation of their future happiness. However, regarding the future of their generation as a whole, they were pessimistic. A majority of them agreed with the "Generation X" characterization of their generation as cynical and pessimistic. Reasons for this cynicism and pessimism were diverse and included economic prospects as well as societal problems such as crime and environmental destruction. Nevertheless, the participants tended to believe they would succeed in their personal pursuit of happiness even amidst the difficult conditions facing their generation and the world.
Youth and Society
Arnett, Jeffrey Jensen, "High hopes in a grim world: Emerging adults' views of their futures and "Generation X"" (2000). Psychology. 768.