As the coronavirus crisis unfolds around the world, how might young people respond? To get a sense of how they may react, we looked at research from our recent Youth Decoded study on how Gen Z (13- to 24-year-olds) have faced other issues. Here’s what we learned:

Gen Z see themselves as astute and careful. While youth is often associated with rebellion, that’s not the case for this generation. When asked to describe themselves, the top adjectives were thoughtful (93%), realistic (91%), and cautious (86%).

Tech is Gen Z’s window to the world. Now more than ever, people are relying on their devices to connect with others and get the latest information. Gen Z was already there, with 79% saying the first thing they do when they wake up is look at their smartphone and 60% saying that being connected to the internet is as much a part of everyday life as eating and sleeping.

They knew their generation would face difficult problems. Gen Z is hyper-aware of what’s going on in the wider world. Just 29% of people 13 to 24 feel they have control of the world around them. They’re not inclined to be passive in the face of adversity. In general, most (59%) feel a responsibility to fix the problems they have inherited.

They look at news and information with some skepticism. Just 40% of Gen Z trust the sources of news and information available to them. However, they may not be looking at traditional news sources – 39% mostly rely on friends on social media to keep up to date on current events and 50% think memes are a good way to spread information and ideas.

When they feel stressed, they get creative. As we elaborated in a recent post, creativity is Gen Z’s go-to form of communication. In fact, 4 out of 5 young people say they use visual communication daily and three-quarters use creative apps and online activities. This explains why Gen Z are using TikTok to cope and find the humor in these uncertain times.

To create change, they believe that groups are more effective than individuals. Gen Z are more collectivist than individualist in their attitudes toward change. While 65% believe that collaboration with others creates change, just 26% believe individuals create change. More than half (55%) believe that their generation is more collectively empowered than the prior generation. And in a crisis where all are asked to change their habits in the interest of the common good, Gen Z is well-positioned to listen – 78% believe that changes that matter take time and the collective effort of many people.