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Time to Rethink Youth Behavour, Survey Reveals

Media Release      17 October 2013

Time to Rethink Youth Behavour, Survey Reveals

Young New Zealander’s are obsessed with social media, want to be rich and famous and cave to peer pressure – if this is what you think, then think again.

Several stereotypes about young people, held by adults have been busted in the second annual Youthtown Voice of New Zealand Survey.

Over 1,100 teenagers, completed the survey commissioned by Youthtown and conducted by Point Research, which aims to give young people aged 13-18 a voice on the things that matter most to them.

Surprisingly just one-third of young people believe social networking is important to them, debunking the adult view that social media rules young lives.

“They may spend a lot of time on sites like Facebook and Snapchat, but ultimately young people want to hang out with their friends in person,” Head Researcher of the Youthtown Voice of New Zealand Survey, Alex Woodley, said.

Despite 86 per cent of young people holding a Facebook account, and 23 per cent belonging to Twitter, only one-third say social networking is important to them, and one third say it’s not important at all.

Most respondents said that they prefer to socialise at a friend’s house (82 per cent) or at home (68 per cent). “There is also a clear message from this survey, that young people would like more physical places to hang out,” Woodley said.

The adult misconception that young people are most influenced by peer pressure has also been set straight, with 73 per cent of young people indicating that their parents have the most influence over their lives, and only forty three per cent noting their friends.

Survey respondents also revealed that they don’t look up to celebrities or personalities because of their ‘fame’. Of the people they look up to, intelligence with ability (27 per cent), determination (11 per cent) and self-belief and confidence (10 per cent) were the strongest qualities young people admire.

“These are extremely positive messages spoken, straight from the mouths of young New Zealanders. The future really is in great hands,” Youthtown CEO, Paula Kearns said.

WHAT NZ YOUTH REALLY THINK

• ·         PERCEPTION: Social media is very important to youth & where they ‘prefer’ to hang out with friends
$1• $2HAT YOUTH THINK: Only one-third of young people believe social networking is important to them, and one third say it’s not important at all. Most prefer to socialise at home (68 per cent) or at a friend’s house (82 per cent)

• ·         PERCEPTION: Young people desire fame & fortune
$1• $2HAT YOUTH THINK: Young people don’t look up to celebrities or personalities because of their ‘fame’. They admire famous or well-known people because of the personality traits that got them there; intelligence with ability and talent (27 per cent), determination (11 per cent), confidence and self-belief (10 per cent)

• ·         PERCEPTION: Young people want to ‘fit in’, and feel uncomfortable standing out from the pack
$1• $2HAT YOUTH THINK: Most young people feel ‘good’ or ‘great’ about their culture and ethnicity (82 per cent), their sexuality (79 per cent) and about things that make them different from other people (77 per cent).

• ·         PERCEPTION: Young people are most influenced by peer pressure
$1• $2HAT YOUTH THINK: 73 per cent of respondents say that parents have the most influence over their lives. 43 per cent said that friends have the most influence over their lives.

• ·         PERCEPTION: Teenagers are full of angst and unhappy with the world
$1• $2HAT YOUTH THINK: Young people are HAPPY! Over three-quarters of respondents rate their happiness as ‘6’ or more on a ten point scale

2013 Youthtown Voice of New Zealand Survey KEY SURVEY FINDINGS
1. Young people believe that their parents have the most influence over their life
2. The most protective factors for youth are related to positive relationships; feeling cared about by their family, having caring adults to turn to; having supportive friends with positive social values
3. Three-quarters of young people agree there is a purpose to their life and they have a lot to offer the world
4. Approximately one in six of respondents do not really have anyone they can talk to when they are having a hard time
5. Young people admire celebrities with intelligence, talent, determination, confidence and self-belief. They don’t look up to celebrities or personalities because of their ‘fame’
6. Most young people feel good about things that make them different from other people
7. Young people are HAPPY! Over three-quarters of respondents rate their happiness as ‘6’ or more on a ten point scale
8. Young people identify with, and respect people, who are unaffected by the opinions of others (example, Ellen Degeneres and Demi Lovato)
9. Young people strongly believe in equality and acceptance of one another
10. One-quarter of young New Zealander’s currently volunteer or do community work of some sort
11. Most young people who volunteer, do so in youth centres or camps
12. Young people would like more opportunities to contribute to their community
13. Time and information are the greatest barriers preventing young people from volunteering
14. Only one-third of young people believe social networking is important to them, and one third say it’s not important at all. Most prefer to socialise at home or at a friend’s house

15. Nearly nine out of 10 young people have a Facebook account and just under one-quarter have a Twitter account
16. Adventure, travel, better work opportunities and higher salaries are attracting our young people off-shore (10 per cent don’t see their future in New Zealand)
17. More job opportunities and higher wages would make New Zealand an even better place to live
18. Job opportunities, events or activities and affordable accommodation or housing are the main reasons young people would want to live in and spend their future in New Zealand cities
19. Sixty eight per cent of young people said they are ‘worried’ or ‘moderately concerned’ about getting a job or career they want
20. Thirteen per cent of young people ‘definitely’ see a future in New Zealand. Adventure, travel, better work opportunities and higher salaries is what attract our young people off shore

ENDS

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