Millennials Redefine Family Values (VIDEO)

Popular culture might convince us to believe that Millennials are self-centered with a disregard for family values.

Quite the contrary, according to the results in "The Next Normal: An Unprecedented Look at Millennials Worldwide." Viacom and its Viacom International Media Networks division conducting 15,000 interviews to gain perspectives of young people age 9-30 from 24 countries worldwide.

The study found that spending time with family is actually the top driver of happiness for Millennials. Researchers also discovered that an emphasis on family is a global phenomenon among young people.

"Thanks to the importance Millennials place on family bonds, the family unit today is closer than ever," Christian Kurz, vice president of Research & Insights at Viacom International Media Networks, said in a press release.

Hooked Up Book by Jack MyersHooked Up Book by Jack MyersMedia ecologist Jack Myers and author of Hooked Up: A New Generation's Surprising Take on Sex, Politics and Saving the World says it's inaccurate to describe the attitude shift among college-age students as a breakdown of family values.

"There is an incredible respect for human values, family values, tradition," Myers says. "But they're very focused on the future as opposed to the past, and they're very focused on recognizing the challenges that are ahead for them. So they are putting families off until they're in their early thirties, late twenties."

Today's college students embrace the institutions of marriage and family, but they have a more inclusive view of them. They also plan on putting off such major life events until they are secure in their careers. "They're establishing a new tradition of family values," Myers says. Watch Jack Myers describe how the "Hooked Up Generation" (born between 1991 and 1995 -- a subset of Millennials) is redefining family values:

But that doesn't mean the Hooked Up Generation views marriage and family in the same way their parents and grandparents have, Myers says.

"This is a generation that feels that gender is irrelevant in marriage," he says. "They believe in individual rights because on the Internet it's all individual rights, and that's all they've really grown up, all they understand."

Members of the Hooked Up Generation are also the first since the Great Depression that recognize they might not be as successful as their parents, he says. "They're not necessarily going to buy their first house in their twenties … they're not going to be able to afford to get married."

College-age students are working hard now so that they create a family-oriented future.

"The important thing is that they're focused on building their careers, building their futures, establishing themselves, and then moving into families and relationships," Myers says.

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