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
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 3 Perceptions of media portrayal of young