Despite mental health and climate concerns, youth believe they can improve the world, survey for World Children’s Day finds
Young people are often seen as having a bleak worldview, plugged uncritically into social media and anxious about the climate crisis, among other pressing issues.
But a global study commissioned by the UN’s children’s agency, Unicef, appears to turn that received wisdom on its head. It paints a picture of children believing that the world is improving with each generation, even while they report anxiety and impatience for change on global heating.
The majority of young people saw serious risks for children online, such as seeing violent or sexually explicit content (78%) or being bullied (79%).?
While 64% of those in low- and middle-income countries believed children would be better off economically than their parents, young people in high-income countries had little faith in economic progress. There, fewer than a third of young respondents believed children today would grow up to be better off economically than their parents.
More than a third of young people reported often feeling nervous or anxious, and nearly one in five said they often felt depressed or had little interest in doing things.
On average, 59% of young people said children today faced more pressure to succeed than their parents did.