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"Maybe the scary things about being an adult are so much more concrete right now that it's just safer to not become an adult."RELATED STORIES: Why parents should care that porn showed up on Ted Cruz's Twitter page Sleepovers a thing of the past?
Unfortunately these types of events are not just stories they really happen and young teen internet users are at the greatest risk."Still, she agreed with her daughter that the world seems more treacherous now than when she was a teen."Climate change is super real and it's obviously happening as we speak," she said.Nor could the use of smartphones and the Internet be entirely the cause, the report said, since the decline began before they were widely available.Musser, who lives in Portland, Oregon, has had summer jobs but he has never drunk alcohol and says he is not curious to try.If the delay is to make room for creative exploration and forming better social and emotional connections, it is a good thing, he said. Why don't I stay with my friends and away from anything that has heavy consequences, like pregnancy or sexually-transmitted diseases?
But "if it's fear-based, obviously that's a concern."Among teenagers now, "there is a feeling you're getting of, 'Wow, the world is pretty serious, so why would I rush to immerse myself. '"Teenagers are also more conscious now about the possible repercussions of their actions, said Stephanie Coontz, director of research at the Council on Contemporary Families."They're starting to realize, wow, they really do have to worry about their resumes," she said. There's just so many people saying, 'Oh, it's going to be hard when you get out there.'"Her mother, Penelope Haskew, 45, feels mixed about her daughter's preference for spending free time at home with her family."On the one hand, I know she's safe, she's not out getting pregnant or smoking pot or drinking or doing all kinds of risky stuff that I can imagine would be age appropriate,"she said.
In the first scenario, "You'd have a lot of kids and be in survival mode, start having kids young, expect your kids will have kids young, and expect that there will be more diseases and fewer resources," said Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University who is the author of "i Gen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy - and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood."A century ago, when life expectancy was lower and college education less prevalent, "the goal back then was survival, not violin lessons by 5," Twenge said.
In that model a teenage boy might be thinking more seriously about marriage, and driving a car and working for pay would be important for "establishing mate value based on procurement of resources," the study said.
"They come in without the kind of reckless disregard of consequence that a more confident generation of kids had, who said, 'I'll drop out of school and join the peace movement, what the hell.'" With fewer career paths available to those without a college degree, she said, young people can no longer afford that kind of nonchalance."They're absorbing the same kind of anxiety about the future that their parents have for them."Chiara Power, 15, of San Juan Island, Washington, has no interest in dating, driving, working for pay or drinking alcohol - and the rising costs of college keep her up at night."I'm already panicking and having nightmares about the student loans that I'll never escape, and I'm worried that I'm going to end up homeless," she said. "They're just like, 'Dude, that's not happening for the next three years, so chill. But Haskew wonders whether her daughter is missing out on life lessons those behaviors can teach.
"Is that stuff necessary for human development, do you have to be risk-taking as a teenager in order to succeed as an adult?
Rather, she said, kids may be less interested in activities such as dating, driving or getting jobs because in today's society, they no longer need to.