The kids may not be all right after all—at least if “all right” means optimistic about the state of the United States.
A survey out today of kids ages 13 to 17 by the Associated Press’ NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that, when it comes to politics, teens are just about as pessimistic and cynical of politics as their parents.
The AP-NORC poll surveyed 790 people ranging from age 13 to 17 during December 2016.
Eighty percent of teenagers think Americans “are divided” about the country’s “most important values,” and “6 in 10 say the country is headed in the wrong direction.”
An incredibly low percentage (around 16) agrees that the government does a good job “promoting the well-being of all Americans.” And only a slightly higher percentage thinks the government accurately represents “most Americans’ views.”
Probably the most striking finding centers around the values question. Not only do the vast majority of teens surveyed think Americans are divided, but they basically embrace the divide: Three in four “already have a party preference,” and only around 25 percent think they have “a lot in common” with people on the other side of the political aisle.
The only notable difference in teens and their parents is about the future. The younger generation is more optimistic (but not that much more, really). Some 56 percent of all teens in the survey “believe America’s best days are ahead,” only a four percent increase compared to adults in another, previous AP-NORC poll.
Aaron Cline Hanbury is a contributing editor for RELEVANT. You can follow him on Twitter at @achanbury