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Rising Levels of Youth Anxiety and Expectations

Researcher Joseph E. Davis recently (2020) reflected on the increasing levels of anxiety among young people. Davis claims that we can trace some of the anxiety to what he calls “soaring” and “absurdly ambitious” goals for academics, sports, or their future career. The goal of “living up to your potential” or “being the best” of this or that is not helping young people. Davis points to a 2019 survey that asked 3,000 American adolescents, most aged 14-17, about their aspirations for adulthood. How important, for instance, was it to them to become “powerful and influential” as an adult? Tellingly, 21% indicated “absolutely essential,” and another 27% as “very important.” Less than a quarter ranked it as not very important.


Joseph E Davis, “The Deeper Roots of Youth Anxiety” Institute for Family Studies (2-18-20)

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