Recession may have boosted teens' social consciousness - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Recession may have boosted teens' social consciousness

Updated: July 11, 2013 10:02 AM
© Jupiterimages / Comstock / Getty Images / Thinkstock © Jupiterimages / Comstock / Getty Images / Thinkstock

THURSDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Concern for other people and the environment rose among American teens during the recent recession, a new study indicates.

Researchers analyzed data collected from high school seniors between 1976 and 2010, and found that concern for others declined significantly between the mid-1970s and 2004-2006, and then climbed during the 2008-2010 recession.

Along with greater concern for others, students who graduated during the recession also had more interest in social issues, in saving energy and in protecting the environment, the psychologists at San Diego State University (SDSU) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found.

For example, 63 percent of recession-era high school seniors said they made an effort to turn down the heat at home to save energy, compared to 55 percent before the recession. Thirty percent of recession-era 12th graders said they thought often about social problems, compared to 26 percent before the recession, the investigators found. During the recession, 36 percent of high school seniors said they would be willing to use a bicycle or mass transit to get to work, up from 28 percent before the recession.

"Although young people's concern for others and for the environment is still lower than it was in the 1970s, the recession has apparently led youth to focus more on others compared to the economic boom times of the mid-2000s," Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at SDSU, said in a university news release.

"Amidst all of the suffering caused by the recession, there may be positive benefits to society if more Americans are looking outside themselves," Twenge added.

And according to Patricia Greenfield, a psychology professor at UCLA, "This is the silver lining of the Great Recession."

Greenfield noted in the news release, "These findings are consistent with my theory that fewer economic resources lead to more concern for others and the community. It is a change very much needed by our society."

The study was published July 11 in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

More information

The Nemours Foundation offers a family guide to getting involved in the community.

Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
3514 State St. Erie, PA 16508
Newsroom: (814)454-8812
Toll Free: 1(800)454-8812
Business offices: (814)454-5201
WICU FCC Filing
WSEE FCC Filing
Share:
Share Stories
Submit your stories to our site!
Share Photos
Share your photos in our community galleries
Mobile:
Mobile Site
Be sure to stay constantly updated with the power of WICU12 and WSEE at your fingertips
Free Android App
Free iPhone App
Free iPad App
Storm Tracker App
Droid
iPhone
iPad
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WICU. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
                   WICU/WSEE - 3514 State Street Erie, PA 16508 - (814) 454-5201 - info@wicu12.com