Raised on rationing and under the spectre of a nuclear war, older generations have loved to grumble about the easy ride enjoyed by youngsters today at one point or another. But it would seem that despite the improved working conditions, freedom and vast array of ways to splash the cash, life for young people has never been tougher. A surprising study of 4,000 people across two generations found that not only does the current younger generation think their parents had it easy, the over-50's agree.
Difference: Today's youth are more stressed and want more money than their parents' generation
Free love: Like the Door's Jim Morrison (Val Kilmer), baby boomers were able to relax and go their own way The study, which was commissioned by health retailer Holland & Barrett, also revealed 68 per cent of those questioned believe today’s generation are forced to endure more hardship than young people 40 years ago.
• Can you imagine changing a nappy with your TEETH? Disabled mother who can’t use her arms or legs reveals how she copes with two young children • The schoolgirl sumo: Meet the 15-year-old girl who beats the boys - and takes on 25 stone female wrestlers for fun • Fast food fans create magnificent burgers inspired by the stars – with James Bond and the Pope the first to get their own lavish meaty snacks Despite the consumer revolution in personal technology, comparatively bigger salaries and better working conditions, those in their twenties say they face a more significant range of threats to happiness and contentment. Better job security, comfortable pensions and a clockon, clock off approach to the world of work made life easier 40 years ago, as did a better housing market and the absence of high interest loans and credit cards. 'The results are surprising, and reveal that young men and women in their twenties are planning for the future, investing time and effort in maintaining health and fitness, and fretting over their finances – rather than hedonists living for the day,' said the LSE sociologist, Dr Catherine Hakim. 'Perhaps this is a response to the current tough economic climate.' Stress is a huge problem for today's twenty-somethings, with 41 per cent saying they experience regular or constant stress. Just 15 per cent said the same 40 years ago, with half saying they never got stressed at all.
Generation gap: For Goldie Hawn, youth was about babies and having fun. For younger women like daughter, Kate, eating healthily is important but not marriage Money worries, being overworked and concerns about their body image were the most prevalent concerns for those in their twenties, but didn't chime with older respondents, who, in general, were far more content with their body shape and image in their youth. As a result, the average twenty-something is also twice as likely to want to 'make a lot of money quickly' than the older generation did when they were that age. Hakim added: 'Young men and women are also vastly more materialistic than were their parents’ generation. 'Having money has become a life goal in itself, as a high standard of living becomes taken for granted.' 'Overall, it’s clear the route to happiness and contentment has changed over a generation to become more aspirational and more individualistic.' There were some similarities between those in their twenties and those in their fifties however. Both generations aspired to finding a partner and having a long term relationship in their twenties. Paired off or not, having children has been pushed back by those in their twenties, with most agreeing that the ideal time to have a baby is at 29, compared with 27 in 1970. Marriage too has declined with less than half of today’s youth considering it important compared to the 54 per cent of over 50’s who placed faith in it when in their twenties.
Materialistic: While 27-year-olds such as Max Irons (left) want to make money fast, their fathers (right) weren't so...
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