Teenagers feel most worried about their futures, although the group’s average “pain index” showed a slight improvement this year, according to a recent survey published by the Tosun Public Interest Foundation.
The overall average pain index among local teens fell by 1.7 points from last year to 60.1 on a scale of 0-100, with the future again cited as the most worrying aspect by respondents.
Teens appear to be most concerned about future job -opportunities and their basic livelihoods amid the widening wealth gap, with fear of the difficulty of moving up the social ladder and finding employment scoring the highest and third-highest, according to the report.
Of the 20 items on the questionnaire, severe environmental pollution was ranked second in concern among the respondents, while the chaotic political environment and insecurity over law and order rounded out the top five.
However, the other four of the five categories on the index, including government performance, social context, family and school, all saw a decline in scores from a year earlier.
The main reason for the results could be that teenagers this year have become less sensitive about the situations or have grown accustomed to their environment, the foundation said.
The index, published for the 11th year, voiced the opinions of the younger generation who do not yet have the right to vote, in the run-up to the Jan. 14 presidential and legislative elections, said Tosun Public Interest Foundation chairman Liao Cheng-hao (廖正豪), a former minister of justice.
“The feelings among young people not only reflect those of the general public, but also show their expectations for the nation’s development,” Liao added.
The survey collected 2,391 valid questionnaires from 25 junior and senior high schools and vocational schools around Taiwan. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.04 percentage points.