Teens Say Country on Wrong Track, But '06 Looks Better

Teens Say Country on Wrong Track, But '06 Looks Better

More than half of teens in a new survey by Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU) believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction—surprising news from a generational cohort often described as carefree and optimistic, says TRU.



According to the survey of teens aged 12 to 18, 53% say the country is on the wrong track, while only 18% say the nation is headed in the right direction.

Other survey findings include these data:

  • 17% of teens say they're satisfied with the country's progress on environmental issues, compared to 57% who believe the US is headed in the wrong direction environmentally
  • 18% approve and 51% disapprove of the nation's track record on education.
  • 22% of teens say the economy is on the right track, while 47% disagree
  • 28% believe things are improving, versus the 50% who believe the country is headed in the wrong direction
  • Fewer than one in five teens (19%) say the United States' political leaders are on the right track, while 56% say they’re headed in the wrong direction

TRU Trends Director, Rob Callender, says “For many teens, 2005 was a year plagued by disasters—both natural and manmade. Although the tsunami in Southeast Asia technically took place in 2004, teens generally listed that tragedy as the introduction to a year of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, and fears of global pandemics. Political controversy and stories of high-level corruption haven’t done anything to reassure teens, either.”

“Optimism and faith in the future are integral parts of the teen mindset,” Callender says. In a follow-up Omnibuzz survey…

  • 60% of teens said they believe 2006 will be a better year than 2005. Only 11% think the coming year will be worse, although nearly one-third (29%) won't commit to an answer.
  • Without ‘not sure’ as an option, 85% of respondents say things will get better, while only 15% say they'll get worse.

Please go here for the complete release.

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