Survey finds teens-agers willing to pitch in during tough times

October 15, 1991|By San Francisco Chronicle

AMERICAN teen-agers are as deeply worried about the future as their parents and are willing to help their families through tough times -- even if that means working to help pay the household bills.

Today's teen-agers are "determined caretakers of family futures" who know the realities of life and are eager to pitch in to help their families survive difficult economic times, according to a survey to be released today by the American Board of Family Practice.

"These kids aren't the same as teen-agers from [earlier generations]," said Donna Waldron, who wrote a report detailing the survey results.

"Because both their parents are usually working, they have had a lot more responsibility pressed on them from an earlier age" she said.

The national survey, which included 400 teen-agers 13 to 17 years old and 1,050 adults, was taken in May and June.

Teen-agers are clearly sensing that their parents are feeling squeezed economically, the survey found.

Asked what they thought would be a fair contribution to make for their families, 77 percent of the surveyed teen-agers said they would be willing to take an after-school or weekend job to help out.

About two-thirds also said they would cut back on buying clothes and were willing to give back their allowances and spending money.

Asked about concerns for the future, teen-agers and adults were in general agreement that the most worrisome problem is the continuing pollution of the environment. About three-quarters of the respondents named that as their top concern.

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