New Study Says Teens Now More Aware of the Needs of Others
SEATTLE, Feb. 24, 2009 — Though many U.S. adults consider today's teens to be selfish and lazy, nearly seven out of ten parents say the current economic climate has made their teens "more aware of the needs of others," according to a new World Vision study. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, examines parents' perceptions of their teenagers during the current recession. The study also illustrates that more than half of parents say their teens support charities actively, for example, by volunteering time in a "fasting event" such as World Vision's upcoming 30 Hour Famine happening February 27th and 28th, 2009.
The survey offers a surprising picture of how teens are perceived today — both positively and negatively. The study reveals that three out of four adults (76 percent) describe teens as "tech-savvy" and about two out of three (67 percent) see them as "intelligent" but more than half also describe them as "selfish" (59 percent) and "lazy" (56 percent).
But the results also reflect an encouraging trend for charities like World Vision. About seven in ten (69 percent) say their teens are now more aware of the needs of others because of the current economic climate. And more than half (56 percent) say their teen actively supports charitable causes or organizations by volunteering their time or participating in events such as "fast days" like World Vision's 30 Hour Famine.
Pat Rhoads, World Vision's 30 Hour Famine National Program Manager says, "We're encouraged by these results. We wanted a better picture of how teens in America are feeling in the midst of this recession. This survey gives us a snapshot of what teens are thinking in 2009." Rhoads has been working with teens and 30 Hour Famine for the last six years. 30 Hour Famine has been working with teens since 1992.
The study also compared how adults support charitable causes with how parents report their teens support those causes. According to the survey, more than three out of four adults (77 percent) support charities financially as compared to roughly one in four (26 percent) teens. But when it comes to volunteering, teens are more likely to give their time than adults. More than half of parents (56 percent) say their teens actively support charities, for example by volunteering their time, while less (46 percent) adults say they do so. However, conveying the importance of charity to teenagers is paramount to parents today. About nine out of ten (91 percent) parents say they try to emphasize the importance of charity to their teens and more than three out of five (62 percent) strongly agree.
The poll was conducted by telephone by Harris Interactive on behalf of World Vision, an international Christian relief and development organization, between January 29 and February 2, 2009 among 2,003 U.S. adults ages 18 +, of whom, 215 are the parent or legal guardian of a child ages 13 to 18 years old. For complete methodology, including weighing variables, please contact John Yeager.
Now, by participating in World Vision's 30 Hour Famine, nearly half a million American teens will put a human face on the untold suffering of the Global Food Crisis. And closer to home, youth will be helping those hardest-hit by the recession as they participate in community service projects (at food banks, soup kitchens and homeless shelters).
Tonight, 850 million people worldwide will go to bed hungry — that's one out of every six people on earth. 26,000 children die each day from preventable causes like hunger, disease and malnutrition. Chronic poverty, affecting half the people on earth, is the cause. Nearly 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day.
This February 27th & 28th, (or on another date in late April) half a million teens thousands of American teens will participate in World Vision's 18h annual 30 Hour Famine, forsaking giving up food for 30 hours to get a taste of what the world's poorest children face. Prior to the event, teens raise funds by explaining that $30 a month — just $1 a day can feed and care for a child for 30 days. As they fast, teens consume only water and juice as they participated in local community service projects. These teens will join nearly 500,000 teens across the country who will participate in World Vision's 30 Hour Famine this year.
Where does 30HF money from the 30 Hour Famine go? Countries that will receive funds raised from 30 Hour Famine this year include Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Haiti, and North Korea and other targeted spots where famine, conflict and other crises make children vulnerable.
Since 1992, students have raised more than $120 million worldwide. In 2008, 30 Hour Famine raised more than $12.2 million. This year's goal, given the current economic climate is $12.5 million. World Vision works in 100 countries, helping approximately 100 million people every year. Visit www.30hourfamine.org or call 1-800-7-FAMINE for more information.
About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. World Vision serves the world's poor regardless of a person's religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, visit www.worldvision.org.