Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Youngsters need structure in their lives says new report

A report out today suggests that growing up without a daily routine or structure such as regular bedtimes and set meal times can harm a young person’s school grades and overall wellbeing.

The report from the Princes Trust based on interviews with 2,136 16-to-25-year-olds,found that more than a quarter of young people (27 per cent) claim they did not have a set bedtime while growing up. This increases to 39 per cent among those who left school with fewer than five A*-C grades at GCSE.

Young people with poorer grades are also twice as likely as their peers to say they did not have regular meal times (30 per cent compared with 14 per cent).

The charity's fourth annual Youth Index, which gauges how content young people are across a range of areas from family life to physical health, shows a significantly lower index number for young people who claim to have “lacked structure and direction” while growing up than for their peers.

Martina Milburn, chief executive of youth charity The Prince’s Trust, says: The absence of structure and routine in a young life can have a devastating impact.

The report, carried out by YouGov, shows how almost a third of young people (31 per cent) "always" or "often" feels down or depressed, with this increasing to almost half (48 per cent) among those with fewer than five A*-C grade GCSEs.

One in three of those with lower qualifications (33 per cent) "always" or "often" feels rejected, compared to around one in five young people (22 per cent) overall. Those with poorer qualifications also score a significantly lower index number than their peers, suggesting they are facing issues across a range of areas – from their employment to their relationships with friends and even their health.

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