The Founder  |  Philosophy  |  Mission  |  Definitions  |  Lichtenberg Figures  |  Research

One of the largest-ever generations is quickly making the passage into adulthood. Generations tend to embody a personality, just like an individual, and this young generation is taking longer to grow up. Why?

The time period in which an individual was born has more influence on personality than the family from which they came. People resemble the times more than they resemble their fathers. In other words, the historical and cultural times in which we live shape the generations. The Millennial Generation (following Gen X) is aptly named for being the first group to come of age in the new millennium. It is the first generation raised in a media-saturated world, among other unique influences such as globalization.

My overall research interests originate from these core questions:

Where is society headed given the shaping influences on our young? 

How do we prepare a generation for an increasingly uncertain future?

My interest in this area was sparked in my post-college years when I, and a group of close friends, began to experience what we referred to as The Twenties BeatDown. A humorous term to describe some of the harder and unexpected realities of life in your twenties. My hunch was that something different was going on in our generation and I wanted to see if it was real. Thus, I began interviewing my peers and eventually matriculated into graduate school to study Human Development.

Currently, my research is nestled within classical life-stage Eriksonian theory where I’m focused on the identity development among emerging adults in contemporary society.Emerging Adulthood is a new term within the last decade to describe those individuals in the transition from adolescence to adulthood–people in their late-teens through the mid to late twenties.

Identity development is a nebulous concept, yet it is my belief that technology media, particularly those media we use to relate to one another, may be having a deleterious effect on identity, the quality of human relationships, and thus our societal fabric.

Relational Technology Eroding Social Fabric, Times-Dispatch, Lichtenberger

I also believe the gradual compromise of an ethical, integrity-compass over the last several decades in the realms of commerce, government, and education is showing symptoms in the young generation. How these symptoms will play out in the future has yet to be determined.

“There is no more critical indicator of the future of a society than the character, competence, and integrity of its youth.”             

 -Urie Bronfenbrenner, Developmental Psychologist