Public attitudes to young people in Scotland

Findings from a survey of public attitudes to young people.

Key findings

This survey of adults in Scotland asked respondents a number of questions about different characteristics of Young People (aged 13-19). The following key findings emerged:

  • For most questions, more people held positive attitudes towards young people than held negative attitudes, although a substantial minority held negative attitudes in all cases.
  • There was substantial variation between questions. The areas where young people were perceived most positively were being trustworthy (41 per cent of respondents agreed, 12 per cent disagreed), and helping others (40 per cent agreed, 17 per cent disagreed).
  • The areas where they were perceived most negatively were communication skills (39 per cent agreed that YP lack these, 31 per cent disagreed) and taking responsibility for their own actions (35 per cent disagreed, 26 per cent agreed).
  • Positive attitudes were more likely to be held by people who had a relationship with a young person; came from the professional occupational groups; lived in the least deprived SIMD quintile; and women.
  • The relationship between attitudes and age was complex. Those in the 18-24 age group were most positive, while those in the 25 to 49 group were most negative. For some questions, those in the oldest age group (65 plus) were as positive as those in the youngest.


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