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The Real Differences Between Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, and Silents—and What They Mean for The Future

About The Book

A groundbreaking, revelatory portrait of the six generations that currently live in the United States and how they connect, conflict, and compete with one another—from the acclaimed author of Generation Me and iGen.

There are currently six generations of people:

-the Silents, born 1925–1945
-Baby Boomers, born 1946–1964
-Gen X, born 1965–1979
-Millennials, born 1980–1994
-Gen Z, born 1995–2012
-and the still-to-be-named cohorts born after 2012.

They have had vastly different life experiences and thus, one assumes, they must have vastly diverging beliefs and behaviors. But what are those differences, what causes them, and how deep do they actually run?

Professor of psychology and “reigning expert on generational change” (Lisa Wade, PhD, author of American Hookup), Jean Twenge does a deep dive into a treasure trove of long-running, government-funded surveys and databases to answer these questions. Are we truly defined by major historical events, such as the Great Depression for the Silents and September 11 for Millennials? Or, as Twenge argues, is it the rapid evolution of technology that differentiates the generations?

With her clear-eyed and insightful voice, Twenge explores what the Silents and Boomers want out of the rest of their lives; how Gen X-ers are facing middle age; the ideals of Millennials as parents and in the workplace; and how Gen Z has been changed by COVID, among other fascinating topics.

Surprising, engaging, and informative, Generations will forever change the way you view your parents, peers, coworkers, and children, no matter which generation you call your own.

About The Author

Photograph by Pam Davis

Jean M. Twenge, PhD, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, is the author of more than a hundred scientific publications and several books based on her research, including Generations, iGen, and Generation Me. Her research has been covered in Time, The Atlantic, Newsweek, The New York Times, USA TODAY, and The Washington Post. She has also been featured on Today, Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, CBS This Morning, and NPR. She lives in San Diego with her husband and three daughters.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (August 16, 2023)
  • Length: 560 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668038154

Raves and Reviews

“Fascinating… an informative and insightful study of the dynamics at play in U.S. society today.” —Publishers Weekly

“In this magnum opus, Jean Twenge summarizes three decades of research and survey data from 39 million people to paint a portrait of six American generations. Her conclusions about technology and individualism—and her predictions for the future—will leave you gasping. More important, Jean gets you thinking about how appreciating generational differences can, ironically, bring us together.” —Angela Duckworth, New York Times bestselling author of Grit

“Jean Twenge’s fascinating new book gives key insights into how cultural trends have shaped each generation's psychological well-being – it is essential reading for anyone concerned about today's mental health crisis.” Lori Gottlieb, New York Timesbestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

“This is a gripping family saga, told in graphs and stories, about the six living generations. Twenge shows not just how we all differ from our parents and children, but why. It’s not mostly because of major events; it's a far more interesting story about technology and the slowing down of childhood development. Generations is vital reading for parents, teachers, managers, and anyone else who works across the generation gaps.” —Jonathan Haidt NYU—Stern School of Business, co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind

“When Jean Twenge publishes a new book, I race to get it! It rare to find a rigorous, meticulous scientist and a gifted writer in the same person. Generations is going to be an eye opener and a book that readers will revisit again and again.” —Sonja Lyubomirsky, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside and author of The How of Happiness

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