They have been labelled by some as 'generation snowflake' but millennials face pressures that previous generations never had to deal with, a new study suggests.
Unrealistic expectations created by social media and 'unreasonable' demands at work have left young people feeling the need to be perfect to succeed in the world.
So much so, that the obsession with perfection among young people has risen by more 30 per cent over the last three decades, a study has found.
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Millennials face pressures that previous generations never had to deal with, a new study suggests. Unrealistic expectations created by social media and 'unreasonable' demands at work have left young people feeling the need to be perfect to succeed in the world.
The team looked at data from 41,641 American, Canadian and British college students between 1989 and 2016.
They found that today's young people are 33 per cent more likely to believe that their environment is excessively demanding and that others judge them harshly.
They also found that the extent to which young people attach an irrational importance on being perfect, are highly self-critical and hold unrealistic expectations of themselves, has increased by 10 per cent.
The extent to which they impose these unrealistic standards on others also increased by 16 per cent.
Researchers from the University of Bath and York St John University analysed data from more than 40,000 American, Canadian and British university students from 1989 to 2017.
They found that, since the 1980s, the obsession with perfection has increased by a third, which they largely blame on the impact of neoliberal economics.
Neoliberalism, they argue, has emphasised competitive individualism, resulting in increased pressure from parents and others to attain the best university places and jobs.
This had led to young people responding by attempting to perfect themselves and their lifestyles, which is in turn reflected in unrealistic portrayals of themselves and their lives on social media.
Dr Tom Curran, from the University of Bath's Department for Health and the study's lead author, said: 'Rising rates of perfectionism highlighted in this study coincide with three decades of neoliberalism, which has compelled young people to compete against each other within increasingly demanding social and economic parameters.
'Meritocracy places a strong need for young people to strive, perform and achieve