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High School Leaders Seem More Socially Concerned: Survey

June 30, 1987

AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) _ America’s high school leaders seek good careers, successful marriages and personal contributions to society far more than their recent predecessors, a survey released Monday indicates.

The yearly survey, conducted at the 51st annual national conference of the National Association of Student Councils, involved about 1,300 of the 1,700 student leaders from all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

While the 4-year-old survey does not try to be scientific, the organization said it represents the views of the only secondary school government group in the United States.

The delegates, from eighth grade to college freshmen, came to the Buffalo- area community of Amherst and represent 17,000 student organizations and 20 million student leaders, a spokesman said.

The survey completed Monday, the first day of the group’s weeklong meeting, addressed 39 questions on current topics, trends and the students’ hopes for the future.

More students than in previous years said that by the time they are 40, making money will be the least important of the five major values in their lives.

Ranked either most important, or important, were, in order, to have a successful career, a good first marriage, to be better parents than their own and to contribute to society.

Making more money was a distant fifth, some 200 votes behind fourth place, out of 3,700 votes cast on the question.

″In surveys we’ve done with the kids in the last few years, making money was much more important,″ said NASC spokesman Lew Armistead. ″Today, they seem far more concerned with social issues.″

A total of 27 percent chose a good career with about 20 percent each opting for the other three choices. Just 11 percent said making money was most important or important to them.

That had been top-ranked value in most of the previous surveys, Armistead said.

On whether to test for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, 884 students said yes, or 89 percent.

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