According to a February article in the Huffington Post, Millennials in the Millennial Generation (also known as Generation Y, those born in the early 1980s through the year 2000) are the most stressed out demographic group. A competing article, however, in The New York Times, also published in February, crowned Boomers as the demographic group most injured by the current recession and its aftermath.
As a Baby Boomer with Millennial children, I was curious as to what my peers thought about this issue. I was fascinated by the findings of a new BoomerOpinions (an online research panel of babyboomers developed and managed by qSample) survey asking the following question: Which of these two generations (the Boomers or the Millennials) do you think are undergoing the most stress as a result of the recent economic crisis? Fifty-one percent of the Baby Boomer respondents said they believed both generations were experiencing equal amounts of stress. Survey data was collected from more than 340 qualified boomer panelists. The survey was deployed during the first week of March with an average 2 day fielding time.
The data from this survey revealed Boomers are experiencing considerable anxiety about their adult children. Don’t forget these are the parents of the kids in the Millennial Generation, and Boomer parents tend to only be as happy as their saddest child. 41% say they consider it at least a somewhat serious problem that their children have incurred student loans; 45% say their adult children have been unable to find a job of their choice. Baby Boomers haven’t been labeled “Generation Squeeze” for naught. Thirty-one percent (31%) are caring for aging parents, while 33% are supporting adult children.
Admittedly I’m a little biased given my status as a Boomer, but in a stress competition, I would have to say Boomers win. They not only have to worry about their own financial plights, but those of their children as well. No matter how much our kids love us, they generally will assert their own needs before anyone else’s. Thus, their stress is focused on their own individual situation while Boomer anxiety is divided between themselves and their children. But, even if Boomers win in this contest, I don’t think the prize is one worth coveting.
About the panel: BoomerOpinions provides companies with insights into the values and opinions of the largest, most affluent generation in America. BoomerOpinion research has identified important characteristics of the Baby Boomer generation, including their love of big toys, their desire for adventure, their belief in the Fountain of Youth and refusal to grow old, and a willingness to change careers or start new endeavors. For more information about BoomerOpinions, please go to boomers.micropanel.com.
About the Author: Liz Kitchens has years of professional experience conducting research and focus groups with the boomer generation. She is a frequent writer and blogs for a number of web sites, such as Boomer Café, Vibrant Nation, Skirt.com and Growing Bolder. She specializes in issues related to women of the Baby Boomer generation – women she refers to as Lady Boomers.