I read recently of the concern today's youth feel about their ability to deal with stress. A survey found many are worried they do not have the skills and knowledge to cope with the increasing level of stress in modern society. And my generation thought all they were concerned about was video games, pop concerts, partying, skateboarding and perhaps study.
Adapted from Pixabay image
Every year since 2001 Mission Australia has conducted the Youth Survey, a survey of young people aged 15 to 19. The number involved in the survey has increased and nearly 22,000 were involved in 2016. The survey shows what young people are concerned and worried about.
The annual survey has shown an increasing number of young people don't feel they are being provided with strategies for dealing with stress. The number of youth feeling highly concerned about coping with stress is now 4 in 10, with 5 in 10 girls being highly concerned.
What do young people feel stressed about?
The top three concerns in the most recent survey were body image, school/study problems and coping with stress.
1 in 4 fear there won't be enough training and employment opportunities in their local community available when they finish school. This is not surprising as nationally youth unemployment is over double that of the general unemployment rate.
Youth worry about career success and attaining financial independence.
Personal relationships and expectations of parents, peers, educational institutions and society also make youth feel stressed.
Awareness of and worry about mental health issues have doubled in the past five years.
Half of the girls surveyed were highly concerned with how to cope with stress. Image courtesy of Pixabay
What are the priorities of young people? Results from the survey suggest young people are putting more emphasis on career and financial goals than on having a family and community involvement.
Is this because people receive praise for a promotion, increased income or a new job which involves greater responsibilities? Is it because there is so much emphasis on owning a large house with all the mod cons?
A person is less likely to receive praise for their unpaid involvement in a community activity or organisation. Often volunteer work is seen as something a person does to help them get back into the workforce or to keep active during retirement rather than being valid in its own right.
Society as a whole seems to place less value on family and friends than money but research shows solid relationships make people happier and better able to cope with stress.
Older/mature aged people who act as role models often set the example of living a stressed life. Sometimes they are even proud of how 'crazy busy' they are.
The world is changing so quickly. Employment is unstable and changing all the time. Consumerism puts pressure on people to work long hours and for new mothers to return to the workforce.
Older folk are often critical of the younger generation which also puts stress on them. Is it any wonder many young people doubt their ability to cope with the stress they face now and that which they will need to deal with in the future?
So many valid points, Marie. I think it is definitely harder to be a young person now then when I was back in the 90s. I think every young person needs older role models and someone to turn to. Unfortunately this ideal doesn't always eventuate..
Thanks for your comments Justine. You mentioned the need for role models. These days many older people are living overly busy, stressed lives which don't show positive ways to manage stress. These people don't have (or don't make) time to spend talking to youth. Also ,with all the reports of pedophiles in the media, some people are suspicious of an older person who is willing to befriend a young person.