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Top 10 issues for teens age 15- 19

Monday, 1 July 2019
Top 10 issues for teens age 15- 19

Each year Mission Australia ask young people aged 15 – 19 about their values, aspirations and concerns in Australia’s largest annual youth survey. In 2018, there were 28,286 young people who participated in the 17th annual survey. We’ve summarised a few parts of the survey here to help you learn the biggest issues that teenagers aged between 15-19 face.

What young people value most


Young people were asked how much they valued family relationships, financial security, friendships (other than family), getting a job, mental health, physical health and school or study satisfaction.
The three most highly valued items were:

1. Family relationships – valued highly by 83.7% of respondents (learn 10 ways to build relationships with your teen children)
2. Friendships (other than family) - valued highly by 81.8% of respondents, and
3. School or study satisfaction - valued highly by 71.8% of respondents (12 tips to deal with the challenges of high school)

The next most valued items were mental health and physical health.


The top ten issues of personal concern for young people

Survey participants were asked to rate how concerned they were about a number of issues and rate their level of concern on a 5 point scale ranging from extremely concerned to not concerned at all.

The top ten issues of concern for young people were:

1. Coping with stress
43.1% of young people were extremely concerned or very concerned.

2. School or study problems
33.8% of young people were extremely concerned or very concerned.

School or study problems are a big concern causing issues for teens

3. Mental health awareness
30.9% of young people were extremely concerned or very concerned.

4. Body image
30.4% of young people were extremely concerned or very concerned.

Body image is a big concern for young people and teenagers

5. Physical health
25.7% of young people were extremely concerned or very concerned.

6. Personal safety
18.6% of young people were extremely concerned or very concerned (teenagers can be preyed upon online)

7. Family conflict
17.6% of young people were extremely concerned or very concerned.

Family conflict is a concern

8. Financial security
16.7% of young people were extremely concerned or very concerned.

9. Suicide
16.0% of young people were extremely concerned or very concerned.

10. Discrimination
11.1% of young people were extremely concerned or very concerned.


Gender differences in the top issues of personal concern for young people

The top two personal issues of concern for both females and males were coping with stress and school or study problems. For females, the third highest concern was body image, whereas for males it was physical health. In general more females were concerned about personal issues than males.


How happy are young people?

Young people were asked to rate how happy they were with their life as a whole on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 indicates feeling very sad, 5 indicates not happy or sad and 10 indicates that they felt very happy.

  • Most young people (62.3%) were happy/very happy.
  • 27.7% were not happy or sad. 
  • 10% were very sad/sad.

More males reported feeling happy/very happy with their lives than females (67.8% compared to 59.1%). More males also reported feeling very sad/sad than females (8.1% compared to 6.6%). However, despite more males reporting feeling happier, we recently learned that the male suicide crisis is 3 times worse than previously thought


Are you struggling to cope with stress, school problems or mental health?

Inspiro provides a free youth counselling service for young people between 12 to 25 years who may be dealing with depression, anxiety, bullying, harassment, managing relationships or any other issue. The free counselling service is funded by the Yarra Ranges Council and is available to young people living, working or studying in the Yarra Ranges

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Getting support is helpful

Sometimes we experience difficult challenges and getting support can be helpful. If you’re feeling down, stressed out, angry, anxious or confused, our counsellors can help you gain skills to do things differently and build your confidence.


To speak to an Inspiro youth counsellor, call 9028 0153


Inspiro’s free Youth and Family Counselling service is funded by the Yarra Ranges Council 

If you live in any of the following suburbs you may be eligible to use Inspiro's Free Youth and Young Adult Counselling Services: Badger Creek, Bayswater, Bayswater North, Belgrave, Belgrave Heights, Belgrave South, Boronia, Chirnside Park, Coldstream, Croydon North, Croydon, Croydon Hills, East Warburton, Emerald, Ferny Creek, Healesville, Hoddles Creek, Kallista, Kaloroma, Kilsyth South, Kilsyth, Launching Place, Lilydale, Lysterfield, Macclesfield, Menzies Creek, Millgrove, Monbulk, Montrose, Mooroolbark, Mount Dandenong, Mount Evelyn, Narre Warren East, Olinda,  Sassafras, Selby, Seville, Seville East, Silvan, Tecoma, The Patch, The Basin, Tremont, Upper Ferntree Gully, Upwey, Wandin, Wandin North, Warrandyte South, Warranwood, Warburton, Wesburn, Wonga Park, Woori Yallock, the Yarra Valley, the Yarra Ranges, Yarra Glen, Yarra Junction and Yellingbo.


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Source: Mission Australia Survey Report 2018