Belonging: Reconnecting America’s Loneliest Generation
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Belonging: Reconnecting America’s Loneliest Generation, presents national research from Springtide Research Institute’s inaugural project examining themes of belonging specific to 13 to 25-year-olds. The research findings reveal that the levels of loneliness, social isolation, and stress experienced by young people in the United States are considerably higher than those of previous generations. One-third of the young people surveyed reported feeling completely alone either sometimes or always. Noteworthy, this lack of connection is present even among young people who are active in religious and secular groups or institutions.
This 2019 research project also considered the impact of trusted adults in the lives of young people. Through quantitative analysis, it discovered that increasing the number of caring adults in the life of a young person significantly decreased their experience of loneliness and isolation and increased their experience of belongingness. Additionally, this report identifies and outlines a crucial process in order to foster belongingness: Being Noticed, Being Named, and Being Known.
Anyone who works with or engages young people will want to study Belonging: Reconnecting America’s Loneliest Generation, reflect on its findings, and consider ways to respond within their own communities and contexts. It offers a fresh perspective on a growing concern surrounding loneliness, and it explores this reality specific to teenagers and young adults. It challenges traditional, institutional thinking about what it means to belong. It could fundamentally change your approach to how you view and connect with young people.