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Survey: Teens Involved, Concerned About America's Future

  • Jim Brown Agape Press
  • 2004 17 Aug
Survey: Teens Involved, Concerned About America's Future

August 17, 2004

A new report on the state of America's youth finds teenagers are very concerned about the direction their nation is taking and feel the upcoming presidential election will have a big impact on their lives.

The survey released by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans looked at the views of more than 1,000 young people aged 13 to 19. According to that study, 62 percent of U.S. teens believe the Kerry-Bush election will make a large difference in the direction of the country, and 70 percent say they care who wins.

Allan Rivlin, a senior vice president with Peter Hart Research, says young people are involved with their society and know what is happening. He notes, "They're paying attention to the election, and they're also paying attention to the Iraq war." According to the researcher, 44 percent of the students said the U.S. was right to go to war in Iraq, while 33 percent felt it was wrong, and only 18 percent said they had no opinion.

The young people surveyed also expressed concern over the employment situation in America, but Rivlin says their greatest area of apprehension "had to do with social issues like gay marriage and abortion. That was what topped the list of their concerns."

One promising revelation of the Alger report was that U.S. teenagers have a high opinion of their parents in general. In the survey, 77 percent of teens said they get along with their parents or guardians. And "shockingly," Rivlin says, they have a great deal of admiration for their parents as well.

"Overwhelmingly students say they have good relations with their family" Rivlin says, "and when we ask them to pick a role model, it's not sports stars or entertainment figures that get picked most. Fifty-one percent say their parent is their role model." Also notable, the researcher says, is the fact that "for the first time we see dads catching up with moms" in terms of who the young people name as their role models.

Rivlin says the youth survey suggests that, even though America's students are facing great pressure to conform, to get good grades, and to look a certain way, they are finding the support networks they need.

© 2004 Agape Press.