By Rosemary Roscoe
As thousands of ‘sixth-formers’ head back to school or move on to university after a glorious summer break, it’s encouraging to hear that the majority prefer home life to hanging out with their friends.
According to a recent poll of 1,000 16-18 year olds they are far more focused on their studies than indulging in drugs, alcohol and sex. Dubbed ‘Generation sensible,’ two-thirds of the teenagers surveyed said they had never had sex and 24% said they had never drunk alcohol – which may explain the sharp fall in teen pregnancies since 2007.
More than 80% of those surveyed said performing well in exams or succeeding in their chosen career was a top priority, compared with 68% who said spending time with friends was a top priority. And many admitted to spending 4-5 hours a day on social media, with work and study commitments making organising time to meet up with friends difficult.
Young people were also more likely to view time with their family as of high importance than time with their friends.
Have teenagers always secretly craved a happy home life rather than going out and getting drunk with their friends – or are the latest generation of social media savvies so well informed about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse they won’t risk going down that route?
Whatever the reason, it says something about the importance of the home for our mental and physical wellbeing.