The impact of generational identity on psychology: Generation X
Generation X, or more commonly known as Gen X, is sandwiched between two huge generations, coining the term “the lost generation.” Wedged between the confident Baby Boomers and the tech-savvy Millennials, the Gen X population was born between 1965 and 1980, which puts them at approximately 35 to 50 years of age.
The darkness of Generation X
Divorce, daycare, working moms and skepticism were trends that Generation X experienced. The American dream that the Traditionalists and Baby Boomers lived by was unraveled by this generation, due to high divorce rates and financial turmoil. Can you blame them?
The Baby Boomers came of age during the pivotal point of space exploration when Neil Armstrong was a common household name, but Generation X was shadowed by the devastating Space Shuttle Challenger explosion and fears of nuclear war during the Cold War, creating sadness and turmoil within this generation. A sliver of optimism appeared in this generation when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and the Cold War ended two years later.
Generation X was born into families who divorced and, as a result, this generation was raised by single parents and witnessed broken marriages. Many lost their homes to the mortgage crash in 2007. Yet throughout all the turmoil, studies have found that Generation X is happy and balanced.
Balance and happiness
Being products of divorce has allowed Generation X to have more insight on the importance of marriage. The CNN report that cites the aforementioned studies writes: “Two-thirds of Generation X is married and 71 percent report having children in the home. Additionally, divorce has been declining since 1996, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.” Generation X also is one of the hardest working generations with an employment rate of 86 percent. Results have also shown that this “lost generation” is also socially engaged and happy. For being “America’s middle child,” this generation turned out quite well.
Depression and mental illness
Like many other generations, depression largely affects this generation. The stress of divorce while balancing a career comes with depression and, because Gen Xers are strong and independent, they are less likely to seek care. Divorce is sadly considered a “normal process of life.”
Generation X can teach us a lot about overcoming world challenges and adversity. They are often coined and viewed as a negative generation, but the statistics don’t lie and, contrary to popular beliefs, they are happy.
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Written by Kristen Fuller, M.D., Sovereign Health Group writer
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