Source: The Mercury, 3 March, 1997, p.2

Teenagers 'work hard, play hard'

THEY play hard, work hard and 
enjoy spending their money. 
Today's teenagers are a gener 
ation brought up in the fast 
paced world of commercialism 
and information technology. 
Researchers say teenagers are 
under greater pressures as they 
strive to get the best education 
they can, earn money to spend 
on the coolest fashion brands 
and entertainment, and also 
take on greater responsibilities 
at home because of changes to 
the family unit. 
They are the most educated 
generation yet-70% now finish 
Year 12 compared to around 45% 
10 years ago-and have access 
to information from around the 
world exposing them instantly to 
global trends and influences. 
They are brand and image 
conscious and marketing savvy 
and armed with a much higher 
disposable income that has 
made them a prime target for 
Each week Australians aged 
between 10 and 17 spend up 
wards of $75 million, an average 
of $37, with those over 15 having 
around $80 a week to spend 
according to research from AMR 
Quantum Harris. 
That compares with an aver- 
age of $5 about 20 years ago. 
Trends in Australia have be 
come product driven, and when 
today's teen makes a choice 
against the grain it virtually 
amounts to a personal statement 
of individuality. 
"It's all about the publicity," 
Sydney 17-year-old Nadia Van 
Ewik said. "It's important to be 
individual, but it's that 'in your 
face' stuff that you notice and 
that you pick up." 
To earn the money to spend on 
the main areas of clothes and 
entertainment around a third of 
teens still in full-time education 
have part-time jobs. The part- 
time employment rate for those 
aged 15 to 19 is four times higher 
than 20 years ago. 
"They have a lot on their 
plate," said youth researcher 
Joanne Turner, from advertising 
agency Mojo Partners. 
"Along with all of that they are 
expected to do lots of other stuff 
too because of the break down of 
the traditional nuclear family," 
Ms Turner said. 
Ms Turner said that to cope 
with the high pace teens were 
resorting to drugs and alcohol- 
and the new trend of extreme 
sports was also linked.

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