Google first call for upset youth: survey

NZ Herald 21 May 2014
Google now beats talking to friends for young Kiwis with emotional or health problems, a survey has found.

The Colmar Brunton national survey of 403 people aged 16 to 24 found that 64 per cent of young people said Google or other websites were the most common places their peers would go to “access information about sex, drugs, alcohol, depression, stress, health, etc”.

Talking to friends came a distant second on 46 per cent.

The online survey of Colmar Brunton’s ‘You Say’ youth panel offered young people a list of 24 health and social issues and asked which were “the biggest issues facing young people today”.

Alcohol easily topped the list with 19 per cent, followed by ‘being accepted’ (12 per cent), bullying (11 per cent), self-esteem (10 per cent) and drugs (8 per cent). Ms Davis-Tana said alcohol was “a very dominant topic in the media, even on social media, and in our lives, so it’s something easy for youth to talk about”.

However, when asked about a difficult time that they had been through personally, alcohol came only 12th on the list at 9 per cent. The top issues in young people’s actual lives were stress (32 per cent), self-esteem and relationships (both 28 per cent), confidence (25 per cent) and family (22 per cent).

Sex rated 14 per cent, bullying and peer pressure both 13 per cent, suicide 11 per cent and drugs 7 per cent.

“Things like self-esteem, suicide, peer pressure … are almost like taboo topics,” Ms Davis-Tana said.

Youthline’s annual street appeal is this Friday, May 23.

Cyber-age help
How do young people access information about sex, drugs, alcohol, depression, stress, health, etc?

• Google & other websites – 64 per cent
• Talking to friends – 46 per cent
• TV shows – 15 per cent • Magazines – 11 per cent
• Talking to a family member – 5 per cent
• Talking to their doctor – 3 per cent
Source: Colmar Brunton survey, 403 people aged 16-24.