They Do Feel Adults Should Be Restrained

Proverbial wisdom says teenagers are champing at the bit for more freedom. But proverbial wisdom doesn’t always know what it’s talking about. In a USA Weekend survey of students in grades 6 through 12, a plurality said they do feel constrained (see chart). But they were outnumbered by those who think kids have either the right amount of freedom or too much of it. You’d never guess it from teen-oriented commercials, which routinely trot out images of adolescent rebellion against the authoritarian grown-ups. If nothing else, the numbers suggest this cliche of youth marketing has a hollow ring for much of its target audience. Asked whether their parents trust them enough, 65 percent said they do. On a related question, 46 percent of respondents agreed that trust from a parent or guardian should be earned, while 54 percent felt it should be ‘automatic, unless I abuse it.’

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