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Children more worried over future unemployment: Survey

Last Updated: Sunday, January 10, 2010 - 17:51

London: The adverse impact of the financial crisis seems to have affected British children the most as getting a job has become the biggest future worry for most of them, according to a new survey.

The survey of 3,000 European children aged between eight and 14 found that almost one quarter of those in the UK are worried about future unemployment, which has become one of the key challenges for governments during the recession.

However, contrary to Britons, children in other European countries listed global warming, crime and war as their biggest worries, said the survey conducted by Disney XD channel.

The poll also suggested that British `tweenagers` were almost twice as likely to use the Internet for social development compared to their European counterparts who still prefer to contact their friends in person, The Telegraph reported.

"This is useful evidence that young people are more aware of the opportunities and the limitations of the Internet and social media than we give them credit for, said Tom Dunmore, consulting editor of Stuff magazine.

"The fact that British children are more socially engaged online reflects the importance of the Internet in our culture, with organisations like the BBC pushing more content online.

"Far from being a distraction to academic study, the Internet is massively beneficial to learning."

The poll also found that three in five (about 59 per cent) British `tweens` believe they cannot imagine life without Internet and computers – well ahead of Spain (50 per cent), Italy and Germany and France (35 per cent).

In the UK, 42 per cent said they use social networking sites and 33 per cent use online clubs compared to a European average of 26 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

However, 36 per cent of all those surveyed prefer to contact their friends in person compared to 21 per cent using mobile phone or texts.

Across Europe, most tweens would like to be a vet (13 per cent), followed by a teacher or footballer (9 per cent each), doctor (7 per cent) and police officer (5 per cent).

Perhaps surprisingly, three quarters agreed with the suggestion that their parents understand technology really well and can teach them about devices.

Dunmore added: "This is the perhaps the first generation whose parents have been comfortable and familiar with the same sort of technology, rather than baffled by it."

Across Europe, all children ranked their family as the most important thing in their life, ahead of health, happiness, a good job and having money.

Victoria Hardy, executive director of Europe research for Disney Channels, said: "These children have grown up in a world dominated by fast-track celebrity yet still place family values above everything in their priority list.


First Published: Sunday, January 10, 2010 - 17:51
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