Teens Peg Societal Ills

By Published on .

Young people say "selfishness" is the leading cause of society's woes, according to a new PRIMEDIA/Roper National Youth Survey.

Some 3,000 teens were given a list of 15 problems facing America today and were asked to choose up to five. Fifty-six percent of students chose "selfishness, people not thinking of the rights of others." Slightly more than half (52 percent) blamed "people who don't respect the law and the authorities," "wrongdoing by politicians" (48 percent), and "lack of parental discipline of children and teens" (47 percent).

Taken together, these findings suggest that this generation's attitudes reflect a growing tolerance of society in general and the belief that every American has inherent rights that may not be abridged by others. At the same time, teens detect cracks in the facade of government leadership, and voice a desire for more parental involvement.

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