What do young people do in spare time?

When they are not at school, eating, or doing their homework, young people in their "teens" spend a lot of their time in their own neighbourhoods with friends, either in the streets or parks or in each others' homes. Surveys show that only few young people attend youth clubs. The younger age group of 11 to 15 year-olds most often attend youth clubs and centres, although less than 20 per cent of this population are regular attenders. Most young people are more interested in activities that do not cost money. Lack of their own money in the younger age groups means that a great deal of time is spent with friends, window-shopping in town, cycling or skateboarding.

In the older age group, those who are still at school, or who are unemployed and on low-paid training schemes, have insufficient income to do what they please and are therefore restricted in their activities. Over 60 per cent of young people aged 15 to 24 have a disposable income of less than ? 50 per week. Young men and women who have started earning properly spend time in pubs, go to dances, concerts, discos and the cinema.

Parents do not always give their children a set amount of pocket money each week. Some parents give money in return for children taking part in household chores, ranging from washing up dishes, to clearing bedrooms or washing the family car. Other parents make no demands of this kind.

Young people, aged 12 upwards, earn money by washing cars or windows, doing "paper rounds" (delivering the early morning newspaper before school), mowing lawns and so on. For those aged 14 years and above, baby-sitting is by far the most popular means of earning extra money.

At 15 years old and above, young people often find themselves "Saturday jobs" working as assistants in shops. But money is always a problem. There are a great many things that young people wish to buy, including clothes, magazines, CD and cassette tape music, computer games, and enough money to go to the cinema, discos and dances or even to go climbing or canoeing.

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