A major survey of the island’s 11 to 18-year-olds reports 77 per cent of them are happy most of the time but 25 per cent worry about doing well at school, being bullied, having friends and finding a job.
The questionnaire, involving 1,477 young people was advertised in youth centres libraries and the Isle of Man College, and all secondary school pupils were directly invited to participate in the survey.
Organised jointly by the departments of Health and Social Care, Education and Children, Economic Development, the police and various voluntary organisations, the information will be used by those bodies to identify young people’s concerns and plan future services.
The 53-question survey sought views on matters ranging from schooling, social influences and life outside school, to the aspirations of the young people taking part.
According to the information collected, 28 per cent of people admitted to being bullied in the past year and 28 per cent of those said it was done via social media. However, four fifths of those who were bullied said it was effectively dealt with by their school – an improvement on the previous survey.
Questions also reveal 13 per cent of the island’s children now speak a language other than English at home, almost 16 per cent suffer from some form of disablility and five per cent care for a relative.
Questions on health and diet elicited information that just over half (51 per cent) of respondents said they ate five portions of fruit or vegetables per day, but 46 per cent also ate sweets or crisps most days.
Subjects such as smoking, drinking and sexual health were covered, with 87 per cent of people saying they had never smoked – a drop of six per cent on 2011.
Only 3.5 per cent admitted to being smokers. Half the respondents said they had not drunk alcohol in the three months preceding the survey but five per cent claimed to have drunk on five or more occasions in the same period – down one per cent on 2011.
Three quarters of under 16s planned to do sixth form studies or a college course and 60 per cent expected to go to university; 97 per cent felt safe in the community.