NZ Youth Aspire to Hard Work - not Fame and Fortune 1 Nov 2012
Youthtown launch Voice of NZ survey findings
In a return to old fashioned values, New Zealand youth are admiring skill, determination and achievement above wealth and fame.
Singers top the list of teen role models in new research commissioned by Youthtown, with Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Beyonce and Adele ranking highly.
Significantly fewer 13 to 18 year olds aspire to be like sportspeople, including Dan Carter and Irene Van Dyke, despite the recent Rugby World Cup and 2012 being Olympics year.
48 per cent of youth involved in the inaugural Youthtown Voice of New Zealand survey look to someone famous or well known, and of those, 44 per cent admire musicians as their role models, 19 per cent choose sportspeople, 12 per cent TV stars and 11 per cent actors. Only 4 per cent aspire to politicians or authors.
The most respected heroes and icons are Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Sir Edmund Hillary, Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela. Jesus and God are the highest ranking religious figures.
The qualities youth admire in their role models are skill (19 per cent), success (12 per cent), intelligence (11 per cent), personality (9 per cent), perseverance (9 per cent) and values and beliefs (7 per cent).
Youthtown commissioned Point Research to perform the online survey of 800 New Zealand teens, asking 55 questions about their lives, relationships and futures. The “Voice of New Zealand’ survey aimed to find a youth voice to discover more about how young people really feel about themselves, what they think and what matters most to them.
Researcher Alex Woodley says it shows the country’s youth hold strong values and aren’t simply aspiring to be rich and famous.
“It’s not Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton they admire (who barely gained a mention in the survey), but those who have really put a lot of effort into success,” she said.
“It’s the values of perseverance and working hard to be successful.
“They want to contribute to a better world and the role models they are looking up to are different from the role models we are expecting them to look up to. The values they hold strongly are really positive values,” Ms Woodley said.
The inaugural youth survey was launched to coincide with Youthtown’s 80th birthday year. For further information on Youthtown and the Youthtown Voice of New Zealand survey visit www.youthtown.org.nz.
Youth Role Models
Top Ranking Musicians
1. Taylor Swift
2. Demi Lovato
4. One Direction
5. Selena Gomez
Top Ranking Sportspeople
1. Dan Carter
2. Irene Van Dyke
3. Kevin Locke
4. Maria Tutaia
5. Michael Jordan
Top Ranking Authors
1. J K Rowling
2. Ann Frank
3. George Orwell
4. C S Lewis
Top Ranking Politicians
1. John Key
2. Barack Obama
Top Ranking Heroes and Icons
1. Mother Teresa
2. Martin Luther King
3. Sir Edmund Hillary
4. Mahatma Ghandi
5. Nelson Mandela
Top Ranking Movie Stars
1. Audrey Hepburn
2. Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games)
3. Johnny Depp
4. Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games)
5. Keira Knightly
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