What Most Concerns Teenagers
Besides the important issues of Facebook updates, applying Proactive solution, and not running out of mobile phone credit, what is it that really concerns teenagers these days? What would you say concerns the teens in your life? Would you guess global warming, getting a job, cyber-bullying? What about poverty or terrorism?
This week Mission Australia released the report from its eighth annual National Survey of Young Australians, which asked young people aged 11 to 24 years about what they value, their concerns, where they go for advice and support and who they admire.
The new report sheds light on what the 48,000 young Australians surveyed are most concerned about.
The Main Concerns Of Australian Teenagers
The report itself provides some analysis and details along with numbers, and it makes for some interesting reading. Here is a snapshot of the main concerns:
- Drugs (26.8% of respondents)
- Suicide (26.3%)
- Body image (25.5%)
- Family conflict (24.1%)
- Bullying/emotional abuse (23.4%)
- Alcohol (23.0%)
- Physical/sexual abuse (22.7%)
- Personal safety (22.2%)
- Coping with stress (18.7%)
- Depression (18.7%)
- School or study problems (17.3%)
- The environment (16.7%)
- Self harm (13.3%)
- Discrimination (11.7%)
- Sexuality – relationships, health, identity (11.4%)
I have included below a summary of some of the more significant findings.
Drugs was the top concern for respondents, and was a major issue for a much higher proportion of the youngest age group (those aged 11 to 14 years), than it was for those aged 15 to 24 years. whilst young adolescents are concerned and aware about the issue of drugs, many in this group do not feel equipped with the skills to deal with this issue should it arise in their lives.
Alcohol was a major concern for nearly a quarter (23.0%) of respondents nationally. As in previous years, males (27.6%) were more likely than females (19.0%) to indicate it was a significant concern.
Parents & Families
The survey confirms the importance of family in a young person’s life, with a large majority (75.6%) of respondents identifying family relationships as highly valued and a similar proportion (73.4%) indicating parents are an important source of advice and support.
Just over a quarter (25.5%) of respondents to the National survey identified body image as a major concern. This is a decline from the previous survey when a third of respondents were significantly concerned about it, but it remains a major concern for both genders.
At least one in five young people across all three age groups who responded to the survey indicated that suicide was a major concern, and that rose to one in four for those aged 11 to 19 years.
Physical & Sexual Abuse
More than one in five respondents identified physical/sexual abuse as a major issue, with females (27.5%) more likely than males (17.0%) to indicate it was a concern.
The survey is available on a state by state basis with a breakdown of results across age groups. If you have the time it is well worth a look.
I will be returning to certain findings from the survey in more detail in future posts.