Major

Psychology

Anticipated Graduation Year

2022

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to identify reasons why recent generations have shown a faster increase in levels of depression compared to prior generations. We approached this question by analyzing the previous literature on depression and its contributing factors. We identified differences in factors that are experienced more by older generations and those that are experienced more by younger generations. We hypothesized that possible reasons would include differences in the understanding of mental illness between generations and the influence of recent technology on the mental health of younger generations. Indeed, studies identified higher levels of stigma surrounding mental illness in older adults and higher levels of mental health literacy in younger generations. Additionally, we found that technology such as cell phones and social media decrease the quality of interactions between younger people, which can contribute to loneliness and depression.

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Arthur Lurigio, Professor and Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Why Depression is on the Rise Amongst Millennials and Gen Z

The purpose of this study is to identify reasons why recent generations have shown a faster increase in levels of depression compared to prior generations. We approached this question by analyzing the previous literature on depression and its contributing factors. We identified differences in factors that are experienced more by older generations and those that are experienced more by younger generations. We hypothesized that possible reasons would include differences in the understanding of mental illness between generations and the influence of recent technology on the mental health of younger generations. Indeed, studies identified higher levels of stigma surrounding mental illness in older adults and higher levels of mental health literacy in younger generations. Additionally, we found that technology such as cell phones and social media decrease the quality of interactions between younger people, which can contribute to loneliness and depression.