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Horatio Alger Association

How Teenagers See Things

A national survey of adolescents conducted in 1996 and 1997 for the Horatio Alger Association suggests that a generation less rebellious and more thoughtful than some adults might expect. Among the key findings are:

Greatest National Problems

 

Problems

What 1997 Teens See as Greatest National Problems Now

What 1997 Teens See as Greatest National Problems in 2005

Crime/Violence

30.2

18.9

Decline of family/moral & social values

33.8

19.8

AIDS

23.4

15.3

Drugs

18.6

10.5

Environmental pollution/ deterioration

7.8

19.5

Health care

7.5

7.2

Government/U.S. budget

8.1

10.8

National debt

8.1

14.4

Poverty/unemployment

10.5

9.0

Terrorism

6.9

7.8

Racial tension/discrimination

11.1

5.7

Inflation

4.8

8.4

Worst Influences Facing Youth Today

Problem

1996

1997

Drugs

21.1%

35.6%

Peer pressure

20.0

25.4

Sex/poor morals

11.9

17.7

Violence

11.9

14.1

Gangs

11.7

11.4

Crime

4.2

9.9

Television

2.9

5.4

Alcohol

2.5

10.2

Parents/elders

2.1

2.7

Political leaders

1.9

2.4

Cigarettes

1.8

8.1

Unemployment

1.4

3.3

Poverty

0.6

3.0

Pornography

0.4

2.4

Music

0.4

1.8

Movies

0.3

0.9

1998 Teenage Survey from the Josephson Institute.

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Last updated 96/09/19
J.A.N. Lee, 1996, 1997