Reality Rocks: Generation X Balanced, Happy and Divorcing Less, Study Finds


Family attorneys in Pasadena hear new studies and theories about Generation X and divorce every couple of months. Over the summer one controversial Wall Street Journal article claimed that Gen Xers - Americans born between 1961 and 1981 - were more likely to stay with their spouses because the majority of them had grown up with divorced parents. A new report from the Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY) finds truth in that controversial article, adding that the generation made famous for being moody might actually be happy and balanced adults.

A common myth about Generation X is that they are eternally single and pessimistic about love and marriage. Researchers for LSAY, however, are reporting this myth to be false. Even though Gen Xers grew up in the era of exploding divorce rates (which peaked in 1980), two-thirds of the people surveyed are married and 71 percent report having children. The divorce rate has been declining since 1996 and many attribute Generation X, a group which may have learned from its parents' marital mistakes, as a big reason why.

The study, which interviewed 4,000 Americans born in the Generation X era, also reported that the majority of the group still believe in marriage and true love. A full 83 percent of Gen Xers admitted that finding the right partner and having a happy family life was a high priority.

Additionally, the study found the parents among Generation Xers to be dedicated and hard-working. More than 80 percent of parents of school-aged children say they lend a hand with homework while 72 percent of parents of preschool children say they read to their kids three or more times a week.

The study also shot holes in the stereotype that Generation X is a group of depressed slackers. Two-thirds of Gen Xers like their careers and on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 meaning very happy, the median happiness score was 8.29 percent.