The Important Things in Life: Adolescent Perceptions and Concerns

Year: 1985

Author: Evans, Glen T., Poole, Millicent E.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports a survey of about 1100 adolescents in Sydney and Brisbane undertaken to identify what they perceive to be their most important life concerns, the reasons for these concerns, and the knowledge and skills needed to cope and achieve in these areas of concern• The study also sought information on problems encountered, influences which helped and hindered them, and the further opportunities the participants thought they needed. The data are related to the proposition that major life contexts deter- mine concerns and needs and that both are related to aspirations and expectations for the future. The data support this broad proposition.

It is argued that the results have pertinence for both curriculum .~for 15-18 year olds and for teaching and learning settings. The .-."concerns and related factors should find direct expression in curriculum offerings, but institutional settings generally should reflect the conditions most likely to help adolescents develop the competencies identified.