The present study was designed to evaluate four characteristics of subjects [i.e., generation (students vs. parents), gender, nuclear threat orientation, and political affiliation] in terms of potential differences in attitudes and cognitive/affective reactions toward the threat of nuclear war. Subjects were 297 college students and their parents (n= 546), who completed a multifaceted questionnaire concerning nuclear-related thoughts, feelings, opinions, and predictions. Multivariate analyses suggested that college students were more distressed than parents about the threat of nuclear war, that men were less anxious than women and more supportive of a “peace through strength” perspective, that individuals endorsing the Disarmist orientation were more worried about nuclear war yet more optimistic than other groups concerning their ability to help reduce the nuclear threat, and that Republicans and Democrats were split along party lines in terms of their attitudes and cognitive/affective responses. Results are discussed with regard to the potential influence of sex-role socialization processes and the importance of optimism in a nuclear world.