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Publication - Research Publication

Public attitudes to young people in Scotland

Published: 17 Nov 2017

Findings from a survey of public attitudes to young people.

19 page PDF

471.7kB

19 page PDF

471.7kB

Contents
Public attitudes to young people in Scotland
Perceptions of Characteristics of Young People

19 page PDF

471.7kB

Perceptions of Characteristics of Young People

Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with a number of statements about young people (defined as aged 13 to 19). Some statements were worded positively and some negatively. Figure 1 presents findings. The findings show a mixed picture of views of young people.

For five of the statements, the balance of opinion was positive:

  • 43% of respondents agreed that 'The behaviour of young people today is no worse than it was 30 years ago', while 32% disagreed.
  • 41% of respondents disagreed that 'Young people are lazy', while 24% agreed.
  • 41% of respondents agreed that 'Young people are trustworthy', while just 12% disagreed.
  • 40% of respondents agreed that 'Young people help others in need', while 17% disagreed.
  • 32% of respondents disagreed that 'Young people cause trouble in their local area', while 23% agreed.

Figure 1 Perceptions of characteristics of young people
Figure 1 Perceptions of characteristics of young people

For the remaining two statements, the balance of opinion was negative:

  • 39% of respondents agreed that 'Young people lack communications skills', while 31% disagreed.
  • 35% of respondents disagreed that 'Young people take responsibility for their own actions', while 26% agreed.

Survey respondents were also asked how they would react in a situation where they had to walk past a group of 16 or 17 year olds to get to a shop. Figure 2 presents findings.

Almost 6 in ten (59%) stated that this would not bother them at all, while almost 3 in ten (29%) said it would make them slightly uncomfortable. Very few said it would make them very uncomfortable (5%) or that they would avoid walking past them (4%).

Finally, respondents were asked about their perception of how the TV programmes, newspapers and social media portray young people. Figure 3 presents findings.

There was a strong perception that the media portrays young people in a negative light. Over half (52%) felt that portrayals were negative, while only 6% felt they were positive. Figure 3 presents findings.

Figure 2 Reaction to a group of young people
Figure 2 Reaction to a group of young people

Figure 3 Perceptions of media portrayal of young people
Figure 3 Perceptions of media portrayal of young people


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