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AARP The Magazine Generations Study

AARP The Magazine commissioned this survey to compare the opinions of young adults 21-26 years of age with boomers opinions when they were the same age on topics of communication frequency, comfort with emotional conversations, comfort with financial conversations, frequency of socializing with parents, degree of enjoyment socializing with parents, and opinion of living with parents.

Key findings include:

  • Today’s Young Adults communicate more, interact more, and are comfortable sharing more with their parents compared to Boomers when they were young adults.
  • Differences exist based on gender. Today’s Young Adult males communicate more, interact more, and share more than Male Boomers when they were young adults. The gender difference that existed when the Boomers were young adults no longer exist, and in one case has reversed with Young Adult males doing more with their parents than Young Adult females.
  • Racial differences existed when Boomers were young that don’t exist for Young Adults today. Non-white young adult Boomers were more likely to do things with their parents and were more comfortable sharing emotional life events than young adult white Boomers. Today’s Young Adults do things with their parents and share things with their parents at the same level regardless of race.
  • Geographical Region of US may have had an impact on the Boomers. Boomers currently living in the West report communicating less, interacting less, and being less comfortable with sharing when they were Young Adults than Boomers currently living in other regions in the US, especially the Northeast.

Data were collected from September 4-11, 2012 as part of the Ipsos Online Omnibus, among 1,034 young adults ages 21-26 and 1,239 Boomers ages 47-66.  For more information, contact Patty David at


Suggested Citation:

David, Patty. AARP The Magazine Generations Study. Washington, DC: AARP Research, January 2013.

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