A literature review on generational diversity by psychologist Constance Patterson, PhD, indicates differences in work ethics and values among traditionalists, baby boomers, gen Xers and millennials:


(1925 to 1945)

Baby boomers
(1946 to 1960)

Generation X
(1961 to 1980)

(1981 to present)





• Practical

• Optimistic

• Skeptical

• Hopeful

• Patient, loyal and hardworking

• Teamwork and cooperation

• Self-reliant

• Meaningful work

• Respectful of authority

• Ambitious

• Risk-taking

• Diversity and change valued

• Rule followers

• Workaholic

• Balances work and personal life

• Technology savvy


Further Reading

Source: Patterson, C. (2005, January). Generational diversity: Implications for consultation and teamwork. Paper presented at the meeting of the Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs on generational differences, Deerfield Beach, Fla.