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Study shows teens are more materialistic, less willing to work

By Mike Anderson | Posted - May 2nd, 2013 @ 10:47pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — Are teenagers just too lazy, too distracted and too soft to get a job? A new study said many of them are. The report shows that nearly 40 percent of teens aren't interested in hard work.

A youth job fair was held Thursday in Salt Lake City, and although hundreds of teenagers showed up for the event, many of them admitted they didn't want to be there.

"I am a little ashamed, but it is true," said 20-year-old Kenzi Davis. "But, I'm going to get a job. That's really what I'm hoping for, is getting a job and not having to make everybody else pay for my things."

Davis admitted that things were easier not having to work.

"Well, my parents pay for everything, so that makes me not want to go look for jobs when I can get things handed to me," she said.

According to a study, published in May in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, more teens are likely to want more without being willing to pay for it.

"We have come to think of having things as having happiness and a good life," said Weber State University professor of Sociology Marjukka Ollilainen.

"Well, my parents pay for everything, so that makes me not want to go look for jobs when I can get things handed to me."

Ollilainen said there is some evidence for arguments that a focus on gadgets and other material things in older generations has been passed down to the younger generation at an accelerated rate.

"Today, the number of things, the quality of things, it's increased," Ollilainen said. "There's just so much more in our homes."

She also said that media often promotes a materialistic mentality with reality shows often portraying a quick track to fame and fortune.

"You know, you get your 15 minutes of fame, and you can be rich too without any real work in the way that we understood work," Ollilainen said.

However, despite the different mentality, Ollilainen said that doesn't necessarily mean that teens won't work hard, but that they just look at work differently.

Tyler Gagon said he may not like work, but he does it to pay for those more materialistic things.

"I feel like you have to work hard to get paid, and if you don't expect to work hard then you shouldn't expect to get paid," Gagon said.


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