Hey Butterfly Effect,

In my first research round, I researched the evolution of technology and briefly went into detail on specific items that were crucial to the timeline. Now, to balance out my research, I have to investigate the evolution of teenagers over the different decades because we must know how teenagers have evolved over the years in order to relate them to the technology. Like most items within the world, teenagers have changed to keep up with the times. For example, different trends have dominated teens appearances and even personality traits appear to have had an effect as well. Now without a further or do lets get into the research! 

1920 - Known as the roaring 20's, this was an era filled with romance, promise and in transition to becoming a more modern age. Teens within this time period enjoyed dancing, such as the Charleston, Foxtrot, Tango, Shimmy. The fashion of short, flapper dresses were in style with fun hats, stockings, bloomers and leather party shoes for teen girls. Whereas boys prefers to wear suits in neutral colours, colourful striped shirts and lace up boots. During this time period, many teens elected not to graduate from school due to the ability to find a job paying livable wages at the age of 15. Jobs such as a messenger or manufactoring paid quite well. Overall, teens were very different in the 1920s due to their lack of education and inequality (women were thought of less).

 Fun fact, teenagers wasn't a term used back in the 1920s because there was more of a difference between adults and children unlike now. (1) 

Image result for 1920 teen 

1940/1950 - Finally the term teenager was slowly being introduced into society due to the changes people were seeing in their children. As expected the clothing attire changed towards practical styles due to the lack of materials because of World War ll taking place. Girls were seen dressed in basic sweaters, skirts that fell just below the knew and short bobby socks while the boys wore open-collared shirts and cuffed pants. The colours were very neutral and muted but as the 50's approached the fashion shifted towards the "greasers" where leather jackets, blue jeans and of course greased hair were common. 1950's brought change to the socializing between society because there was less family time spent and more peer time due to pay checks going towards a car or girlfriends instead of basic needs. Prosperity grew within many communities and fixing up cars became a common hobby for teen boys. (2) 

 Image result for 1940 / 1950 teenImage result for greaser


1960 /1970- The 1960's brought major changes to society such as the population increase called the post-war baby boom after World War ll as well as the personality of the teens were very ambitious, rebellious but still respected their roots. For fashion, there was no "rules" for clothing, but rather scandalous new styles that targeted the younger women. A key saying was "out with the old and in with the new" which lead to trends from the art world such as geometric shapes and contrasting lines. Also this time period started to push past gender roles and men were seen with longer hair and women starting to wear blue jeans, but at the same time mini skirts were a major trend in teen girls. Somehow the 1970's trends changed and we were seeing hippie and ethnic influence clothing styles with psychedelic patterns and flowers. Lastly, women were staring to take care into their self image because of the industry becoming to life which used women as sex symbols. (3)

 Image result for 1960 fashionImage result for 1970 hippie

1980 /1990 - During the 80's and 90's the fashion statement was a variety of brown coloured clothing and later on we see the neon trend. Anything from brightly coloured accessories, teased hair, makeup were commonly seen on teens. (4) Known as the Gen X which means a teenager during the 90's showed trends of the baggier the better. They classified levels of popularity on the less you tried meaning baggy jeans, worn out t-shirts, flannel and Doc Martens were what the "cool kids" would wear. This was also the generation where music prevailed such as the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney Spears and The Spice Girls and listening to mixtapes was a daily activity. (5) 

Image result for 1980 teen Image result for 1990 teen


I elected not to include 2000-present because the changes between the decades weren't very drastic due to technology being quite advanced already and non-existent major trend changes. 

Below is a graph with some interesting statistics on teens throughout different years. 

B - 1970s
C - 1980s
D - 1990s
E - 2000

                                          B                C
                                          D                E

(1) U.S. teen population               (1970)           (1980)
(ages 10 to 19)                      39,888,000       39,410,000

                                       (1990)           (2000)
                                     34,955,000       40,748,000

(2) Percentage of twelfth
graders who have used:                 (1975)           (1985)
                                       (1995)           (2002)

Cigarettes                               74               69
                                         64               57

Alcohol                                  90               90
                                         81               79

Marijuana                                47               54
                                         42               48

(3) New AIDS cases                                      (1985)
(ages 13 to 19)                          n/a              32

                                       (1995)           (2001)
                                         377              162

(4) Percentage of high-school          (1970)           (1980)
dropouts (ages 16 to 17)                 12               12

                                       (1990)           (1999)
                                         10                9

(4) Average SAT scores

Verbal                                   512              509
                                         504              505

Math                                     498              500
                                         506              514

(5) Average science scores
for teens on National                  (1973)           (1982)
Assessment for Progress                  296              283

                                       (1992)           (1999)
                                         299              295

(4) Number of teens                    (1975)           (1980)
employed (ages 16 to 19)              7,104,000        6,581,000

                                       (1995)           (2000)
                                      6,419,000        7,276,000

Influential science                    (1978)           (1987)
breakthrough                       First test-tube      Prozac
                                      baby born       approved in
                                                       the U.S.

                                       (1996)           (2001)
                                     Dolly: The          Human
                                    world's first       genome
                                    cloned animal       mapped

Influential tech                       (1975)           (1983)
breakthrough                         First home         Compact
                                      computer        discs debut

                                       (1992)           (2001)
                                     World Wide         Segway
                                    Web launched       Scooter:
                                    on Internet        Steers by


That's all for this round of research! In my third round, I will be investigating different types of technology that teenagers use on a daily basis in order to see if this provided a positive impact on their lives. Items will include cell phones, computers and of course television. 



1. https://teens.lovetoknow.com/Teenagers_in_the_1920s

2. https://classroom.synonym.com/...g-40s-50s-23561.html

3. https://www.mtholyoke.edu/cour...las/1960s/world.html

4. https://www.retrowaste.com/198...ashion-in-the-1980s/

5. https://socialmediaweek.org/bl...-legacy-grunge-kids/

http://web.a.ebscohost.com/eho...N=8955153&db=rch <-- Graph (peer-viewed) 

*it was quite difficult to find peer reviewed sources for this round due to differing opinions*


Thank you for reading and any suggestions and/or comments are appreciated! 


Photos (4)
Original Post

Hi Lauren,

Great research! I really enjoyed how visual and structured your post was, and how informative and easy to read all of the information was. I find it really interesting how the term "teenagers" was only introduced around the 40s, as teenagers appeared more like 'adults' in the 20s, however I wonder whether there were specific reasons why this designation was made, other than just appearance? Also, I think that there may have actually been a significant change with teenagers in the early 2000s vs now, perhaps not regarding schooling or academics but it would be intriguing to look into how teenagers a decade ago underwent daily activities without the use of the advanced technology we have now. For example, in the early 2000s, not every student had access to a computer, so how were assignments completed, how was information researched, how were teachers contacted? I feel like there would be a significant difference, but do you think that this impacted the learning or the development of students then, compared to now? Do you think there will be a similar impact 10 years from now, when technology is much more advanced? This is something interesting to think about. Otherwise, here are some links to help with your next research round:



Hope this helps!

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