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.