Twenty fifth year of data about Young People
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This report, Young People into 2011, is the twenty fifth report in a series that has been described as a unique contemporary archive of young people from the Schools Health Education Unit. In this report, there are over 100 health-related behaviour questions and answers from 83,724 youngsters between the ages of 10 and 15. They tell us about what they do at home, at school, and with their friends. The data have been collected from 1,100 primary and secondary schools across the United Kingdom. The wire-bound edition has data divided into 9 sections. There are also some charts showing trends from reports over the past 25 years (example page).
From the hundreds of media reports in October 2011, two main themes emerge:-
"Children as young as 12 drinking 19 glasses of wine a week"
"Girls under 11 go without food to gain 'ideal' shape"
SECTION 1 - Food choices & weight control
• In the sample 56% of 14-15 year old females, 50% of 12-13 year old females and 32% of 10-11 year old females ‘would like to lose weight’. This compares with 27% of 14-15 year old males, 34% of 12-13 year old males and 24% of 10-11 year old males who ‘would like to lose weight’
• 31% of Year 10 females have ‘nothing at all to eat for breakfast this morning’ and 18% had nothing for lunch on the previous day
• Less fresh fruit and vegetables are eaten as pupils get older and up to 24% report eating 3 portions of fruit and vegetables. 15% of 14-15 yr. olds and 28% of 10-11 yr. olds report eating 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables ‘yesterday’
• Up to 76% drank less than 1 litre of water ‘yesterday’
SECTION 2 - Doctor & Dentist
• Up to 25% of the 12-15 year old females, reported feeling 'quite uneasy' or 'very uneasy' on their last visit to the doctor
SECTION 3 - Health & Safety
• 54% of 14-15 year old females report taking painkillers on at least one day during the previous week. There was a positive correlation between worrying about 3 or more topics and taking painkillers
• 33% of 10-11 yr. old females feel afraid (at least 'sometimes') of going to school because of bullying. As pupils get older, fewer say their school takes bullying seriously
• Around 20% of 14-15 yr. old females report ever being upset or scared by chat messages or pictures seen online
• Up to 26% never try to avoid sunburn
SECTION 4 - Family & Home
• Up to 64% live with both parents
• Up to 43% of the sample walk, at least some of the way, to school
• More females than males did homework on the evening before the survey, and they tended to spend longer at it. Around 40% of the 12-15 year old males did no homework at all 'yesterday'
• Up to 80% of males played computer games after school 'yesterday'
• 44% of 10-11 year old females 'read a book for enjoyment' as an after-school activity compared with 24% of 14-15 year old females
SECTION 5 - Legal & Illegal Drugs
• Since the mid-1990s there has been a general decline in the percentage of 14-15 year olds who smoke regularly. Around 95% of 10-11 year olds say they have never smoked. This figure drops to 61% (males) and 54% (females) by the time they are 14-15 years old. Around 40% of 12-15 year olds live in a 'smoky' home.
• 50% of the 14-15 year olds are ‘fairly sure' or ’certain' that they know a drug user. 11% of 14-15 year olds have mixed drugs and alcohol 'on the same occasion'
• Around 15% of 14-15 year-olds have ever tried illegal drugs and a declining trend report taking cannabis (up to 15% of 14-15 year olds in 2010)
• Up to 36% of 14-15 year olds reported drinking in the 'last seven days'
SECTION 6 - Money
• The percentage of young people with a regular job rises from 19% (12-13 yr. males) to up to 29% (14-15 yr. males). More males than females save money and there is an upward trend, since 1993, in those 12-15 year olds saving money
SECTION 7 - Exercise & Sport
• Over 92% of the sample of 10-15 year olds report exercising at least on one day 'last week'. At least 65% of males and 46% of females report exercising vigorously on 3 or more days
• 65% of 10-11 year old females think they are ‘fit’ or ‘very fit’. This falls to 27% by the time they reach 14-15 years of age
• From 1991 there is an upward trend (10%-22%) of 14-15 year old females that report being unfit
SECTION 8 - Social & Personal
• ‘The way you look’ remains a worry for females aged 12-15 years (48%-57%)
• Up to 36% of older pupils report enjoying 'most' school lessons
• 67% of 14-15 year old females, compared with 54% of 14-15 year old males, want to continue with full-time education
• Statements from the 'Every Child Matters' section show a marked difference between the positive responses from primary and secondary pupils e.g. 'Having work marked to see how to improve it' drops from around 86% (10-11 yr.olds) to around 56% (14-15 yr.olds)
• 'Friends' remain an important resource when help is needed with issues about: 'The way you look', 'Problems at home', and ' Relationships with boy/girlfiends'
SECTION 9 - Responses from primary children that are not contained in sections 1-8
• Up to 22% of 10-11 year olds report being picked on for 'the way you look'
1.SHEU is an independent research, survey and publishing company and the 'Young People into 2011' report is the 25th in the series and based on the work of one of its divisions - The Schools Health Education Unit. The Unit provides reliable baseline data for local needs assessment to inform plans in health, education and care.
2.The accumulated data from the hundreds of school surveys we support each year, involving tens of thousands of young people, is a valuable resource of information and provides many opportunities for research. We caution against simple reporting and interpretation of our databanks as being from 'a national survey'.