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One-in-four teens turn to celebs first as role models

TWENTY-FIVE per cent of teenagers admit they are more influenced by celebrities than people they know, according to a survey.

Musicians, sports stars and actors were the most popular role models among those polled, with reality TV celebrities, models and entrepreneurs also ranking above politicians -- who got the lowest number of votes.

More than half (59pc) of 13 to 18 year olds felt no connection with their local community, the study found.

The research also pointed towards increasing detachment as they get older with 10pc of 13-year-olds saying they felt no link with their community compared with 20pc of 18-year-olds.

Within the community, teenagers looked up most to family members, followed by other teachers, police, GPs and sports coaches.

Other findings revealed the importance of peers to teenagers, who chose hanging out with friends as the most appealing activity (75pc) and playing with friends was selected as the most common after school and weekend activity (25pc).

In second place was watching TV (17pc), followed by surfing the internet and playing computer games. One in 10 respondents said they spent most of their free time playing sport.

The teenagers were surveyed by Barclays Spaces for Sports, which has created 200 sports sites with the Football Foundation and Groundwork since the scheme was set up five years ago.

One of the sites has seen a 26pc reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour in the last two years.

Julian Wadsworth, a programme manager for social inclusion: "As well as helping to prevent youngsters going down the wrong path by offering sporting activities, the initiatives we run also focus on encouraging social and personal development, community involvement, healthy lifestyles and enjoyment of education and learning."

hnews@herald.ie


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