UCL Study Looks at the Modern-Day 14 Year Old


Researchers at University College London (UCL) have compiled a study on the modern-day 14 year-old, with some surprising results! It appears that the days of rebelling via smoking, alcohol and drugs is gone, with technology helping to usher in a new era where computer hacking has become the norm! How times have changed. This study was part of the Millennium Cohort Study. Read on for the full story, including the intriguing, and at times surprising, results!


The study looked at teenagers in the United Kingdom


14-year old teenagers were questioned as part of the Millennium Cohort Study – which follows almost 20,000 children who were born around 2000. The current cohort have been praised for being the ‘cleanest’ in terms of alcohol, drugs and smoking consumption for quite some time. However, technology appears to have affected their behaviour. 5% said that they had hacked a computer within the last 12 months, with approximately 1% going one step further and distributing a virus.




While it was noted that the current cohort were the ‘cleanest’ seen in several years, there are still some surprising statistics emanating from this study. 2% of respondents said that they had engaged in sexual intercourse. 14% said they had smoked at least once, with 3% admitting to being regular smokers. In terms of anti-social behaviour, 4% said they had done some form of vandalism, 3% used graffiti, and 4% admitted to having shoplifted. While some of these numbers are high, it is at least an improvement on other cohorts!


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This was a captivating study into the modern-day 14 year-old. It is encouraging to see that some of these statistics have fallen in recent years, though it is clear that technology is impacting the youth of today. With concerns over the impact social media has, it is clear that there are serious concerns over technology. This snapshot has been interesting – perhaps some of those who responded will one day study at UCL!





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