(WHTM) – abc27 conducted a quarterly survey asking our viewers which issues are important to them.
One of the top concerns is the so-called moral decline of today’s youth.
But is that really happening?
Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, Millennials, Gen Z, and Alphas, every generation comes with its own generalizations.
Oftentimes, one age group believes it’s the generation who “Got it right” in terms of values.
So abc27 asked some experts, including Penn State Harrisburg’s Dr. Hannah Mudrick who focuses on human development and family studies.
Are we experiencing a moral decline, especially when it comes to our youth?
Mudrick said, “There’s this idea that every generation is losing their moral reasoning, their ability to figure out what’s right and wrong. But a lot of that, particularly we’re looking at the research, has indicated that we aren’t really seeing those trends, particularly with children.”
Local psychologist Dr. John Gavazzi agrees, adding, “Well, there’s what’s known as the negativity bias. So we’re more likely to pay attention to things that are negative than there are positive.”
Gavazzi also said, “The research shows that we are not in moral decline, that we are, in fact, a more tolerant society, a more inclusive society. And we’re really making strides too.”
While Gavazzi sees progress, Pastor Mike Leonzo isn’t so sure.
Leonzo serves as lead pastor at Living Water Community Church in Dauphin County.
Leonzo said, “The family becomes disconnected. If you’re running from place to place to place. And some of the basic moral teachings of, hey, you need to be kind to people. You do need to respect your elders. Those things fall by the wayside, unfortunately, and parents need to be extremely intentional.”
Parents, Steve and Tiana Baltimore who attend LWCC say they are very intentional with their three kids, ages, 22, 19, and 16.
After coming to this realization, “More and more parents are allowing more and more things that aren’t what I would consider safe for kids to be involved in. And we struggle with that as parents at one point,” said Tiana.
Tiana also said, “We had to set more boundaries for our kids. So what we allow, not every household allows and I understand that and I’m fine with that, but we had to dictate more or less what we were going to allow in our household and how we were going to allow our kids to be affected by that.”
Steve Baltimore says he doesn’t think kids have changed, but the technology and the world around us certainly have.
“But I think, you know like the word of God is nothing new under the sun. I believe the change, the adults, the parents, the coaches, the mentors, who have the opportunity to cultivate the youth,” said Steve.
Mudrick said, “It takes a village to raise a child’s mentality. I don’t think that’s an archaic statement. I think that’s still very much true. You have a role in this too. And sometimes we don’t often see that as our role, but we are all members of this community, and particularly when we’re thinking about moral development, it’s about the betterment of society.”