Consumerism may be a major reason why psychological problems among American teens have been on the rise since the 1930s, a new study finds.
"We have become a culture that focuses more on material things and less on relationships," and this emphasis on things is affecting mental health on a societal level, said lead researcher Jean Twenge, an associate professor of psychology at San Diego State University, ABC News reported.
Twenge and colleagues analyzed data collected between 1938 and 2007 on the mental health and personality of more than 63,000 high school and college students.
The researchers found that students today feel much more isolated, misunderstood and emotionally sensitive or unstable than in previous decades, ABC News reported. In addition. teens today are more likely to be narcissistic, have poor self-control and to say they're worried, sad, and dissatisfied with life.