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Is Generation Z aging faster?

Generation researcher Rüdiger Maas classifies the rumors surrounding Generation Z for the Frankfurter Rundschau.

Is Generation Z aging faster?

According to their own statements, GenZers are stressed: stress factors such as the intensive use of online platforms and everyday stress would contribute to them growing old faster than their previous generations. The rumor is currently spreading rapidly on TikTok. But what is behind the ominous premature aging of Generation Z?

Stress factors and the need for predictability characterize the “mental” age of GenZ

There is a grain of truth in the rumor, confirms psychologist Rüdiger Maas. Although it is unlikely that the biological age of Generation Z is advancing faster, it is possible that members of Generation Z “appear older” to other people than they actually are. Generation Z prefers security in all areas of life, which may lead to higher levels of stress and make them appear older than they actually are. It is also a generation that is driven by digital content and therefore experiences stress more often. A strong sense of stress and a desire for security - feelings and desires that are usually attributed to older people.

Adopting conservative values makes GenZ appear older

Old and young

GenZ tend to have a closer bond with their own parents than Millennials. This close connection often leads to the younger generation adopting their parents' conservative values. An example of this could be the trad wife aesthetic trend on platforms like TikTok. Female users in particular try to embody the ideal image of a traditional wife who puts herself at the service of her husband. This trend shows that some members of Generation Z often align themselves with traditional ideas about family and gender roles, which reinforces their older impression.

GenZ compliance results from insecurity, not maturity

In the end, GenZ are very rule-compliant, which also makes them seem older ,” says generation researcher Rüdiger Maas. When children strongly adopt the traditional values and behaviors of their parents, this is known as neoconventionalism. According to Maas, Gen Z's compliance with the rules is not necessarily due to a higher level of maturity, but rather to uncertainty and the search for orientation. Both mean that members of Gen Z often stick to the tried and tested.

GenZ and GenAlpha have been dressing more maturely since childhood

According to Maas, one example is current fashion trends in which young people base their clothing style on older people. This could also make Generation Z appear older. For example, the mob wife aesthetic , which is currently popular on social media and, among other things, conveys traditional ideas about femininity and fashion.


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