ERIC Number: ED213612
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Demographic Discontinuity: Social-Psychological Implications of Rapid Changes in the Size of the Youth Populations.
Egbert, Robert L.; And Others
An important phenomenon of 20th century American society has been the occurrence of radical shifts in birth rate, fertility rate, and the number of births. This paper is the first of three which explore the relationship between changing proportions of youth in our society and the social, psychological, political, and economic impact of such changes. As background to a theoretical statement, the paper first presents demographic information for the United States from 1910 to 1979. Included are trend data on population growth, number of births, birth and fertility rates, and number and percent of youth in the population. The paper then presents a statement about the relationship between rapid changes in the size and proportion of a population group (demographic discontinuity) and psycho-social phenomena in society. It is suggested that whenever major demographic discontinuity exists between successive cohorts of youth, there will be substantial change in the interaction among youth and between them and the remainder of society. It is proposed that when there are rapidly increasing numbers in the youth cohorts there will also be more likelihood of stress between youth and society, social disturbances, and group-oriented youth behavior. In the case of decreasing numbers in the youth cohorts, there is likely to be less interest in youth by society, more individual expression of social concerns by youth, and greater individual anger and frustration. (Following the above theoretical statement, a postdictive section of the paper views the statement in relation to past and current demographic and social trends and a predictive section suggests the impact that these changes may have on society and its institutions.) (Author/AV)
Descriptors: Activism, Birth Rate, Cohort Analysis, Conflict, Data Analysis, Demography, Dissent, Elementary Secondary Education, Generation Gap, Higher Education, Population Growth, Population Trends, Relationship, Social Change, Social Problems, Social Science Research, Student Alienation, Tables (Data), Theories, Young Adults, Youth
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.; Illinois Univ., Champaign.; Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Nebraska Univ., Lincoln. Teachers Coll.
Note: For related documents, see SO 013 569-570. Charts may not reproduce clearly from EDRS.