Aviva Directory » People & Daily Life » Lifestyles » Youth

The focal point of this portion of our web guide is on youth lifestyles.

The life experiences of young people are so diverse that it can be argued that it is almost meaningless to categorize youth lifestyles in this fashion. However, young people do call upon their lifestyles as a common resource, and there are definable differences in the lifestyles of children, youth, adults, and senior adults.

Visible youth subcultures can be seen throughout the world. They offer young people a sense of identity apart from what is ascribed to them by parents, through the schools, and their family's social status. Youth subcultures also provide a venue where young people can reject the goals and, in some cases, the prejudices of adult society.

Childhood and youth are growing periods in which individuals are eager to experience new things. Many young people are, in fact, reflective about their lifestyles and readily change them as they strive to figure out who they want to be.

There are also large differences among individual youth, even within a single culture, and there are likely to be significant lifestyle differences based on geography, religion, and culture.

For example, the lifestyles of children growing up in the United States are likely to be similar to those of children in Canada, but with greater differences when compared to children in South America, China, Africa, and the Middle East, although it would be reasonable to assume that there are similarities, as well.

Even within a country, it can be expected that there will be a variety of youth lifestyles. Children growing up in a rural agricultural environment will likely experience childhood differently than those growing up in New York City, although television and the Internet have blurred these lines considerably.

Children and youth raised in an Old Order Amish community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania will have vastly different experiences than those outside of the Amish communities in the City of Lancaster, and both will differ from those in Philadelphia, only seventy miles away. When you compare any of these to youth in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, Detroit, Michigan, or Northern Maine, you will find other differences among youth within the United States.

For that matter, even among Amish communities, there are stark differences that will become apparent in the anticipated lifestyles of children from one Amish community to another.

Youth lifestyles have also changed considerably over time. Even in recent history, we have witnessed considerable changes in the life experiences of children and youth. Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, my youth was considerably different from my parents, and the children of today are not experiencing life in the same manner as their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

Many variables come into play, notably the advances in technology, which are likely not entirely positive as pertaining to youth lifestyles. As alluded to earlier, television and the Internet have exposed the youth of today to cultures outside of their own geographic location, culture, and religion, and these have certainly been influential.

A variety of realities, such as the comparatively good health of youth, as compared with older people, as well as their virility, and the quest for new experiences, combined with the fact that their brains have not been fully developed, have led to similarities between the youth of today and those in times past, as the following quotes will demonstrate.

"Young people are high-minded because they have not yet been humbled by life, nor have they experienced the force of circumstances. They think they know everything, and are always quite sure about it." -- Aristotle (4th Century BC)

"Modern fashions seem to keep on growing more and more debased. The ordinary spoken language has also steadily coarsened." -- Tsurezuregus (1330 AD)

"Youth were never more saucy, yea never more savagely saucy. The ancient are scorned, the honorable are looked upon with contempt, and the magistrate is not dreaded." -- Thomas Barnes (1624 AD)

"I find by sad experience how the towns and streets are filled with lewd, wicked children, and many children as they have played about the streets have been. heard to curse and swear, and call one another nicknames, and it would grieve one's heart to hear what bawdy and filthy communications proceeds from the mouths of such." -- Robert Russel (1695 AD)

"Probably there is no period in history in which young people have given such emphatic utterance to a tendency to reject that which is old and to wish for that which is new." -- Portsmouth Evening News (1936)

Throughout recorded history, youth have been characterized as rebellious and self-interested, although not all children are rebellious or on a mission to undermine society, although it may appear that way to adults.



Recommended Resources

Search for Youth on Google or Bing