Some 8 in 10 teenagers (81%) say they are at least somewhat happy?- 36% say very happy – and they list girlfriends/boyfriends, religion, friends and parents as positive influences, according to a recent OTX Research and Intelligence Group?study.
Relationships with friends ranked highest in the areas in which teens feel happy (85% put this category in the top two positions), followed by personal talents or abilities (80%):
Moreover, teens tend to be happier with how they look online (e.g., their MySpace profile) than their actual looks – 78% vs. 68%.
Below, additional findings from the study.
Physical appearance is a significant aspect of teenagers’ lives:
- Some 61% of teens said they worry about their looks.
- 48% said they compare the way they look with how friends and peers look.
- Half of teens surveyed agreed that looks/physical appearance is very important in “being respected by others,” and 60% said it was very imortant to “the way you feel about yourself.”
- Looks ranked lower in importance for other areas:
- “Being liked by others” (33%)
- “Getting ahead in the workplace” (30%)
- “Making lots of money” (27%)
To improve physical appearance and feel better, teens are spending an average of $27 per month on personal hygiene/beauty products:
Popular products are deodorant or antiperspirant (used by 84% of respondents on a daily basis), whitening toothpastes (55%), and lip balm/moisturizer (54%).
Teens were asked which influences made them feel better about themselves:
- A little over half (51%) of teens cited TV shows as a positive influence, but people (girlfriend/boyfriend, parents, and teachers) were even greater influences.
- Low-ranking positive influences were magazines (38%) and advertising on TV or elsewhere (33%).
‘Would You Rather…’
Given a set of two related yet conflicting statements, teens’ choices were heavily weighted toward what might be considered “responsible” choices:
- “Get a college degree” (90%)?vs. “win American Idol” (10%)
- “Exercise to lose weight” (91%) vs. “Take diet pills to lose weight” (9%)
- “Have a lot of friends” (76%) vs. “have a lot of money” (24%)
- “Feel good” (69%) vs. “look good” (31%)
About the study: The OTX Teen Topix study was conducted in conjunction with the Intelligence Group; they surveyed 750 teens (age 13-17) on the topic of self-image.