A six-year government-sponsored study of London schoolboys reveals that almost nine out of ten had engaged in some form of theft before leaving school. “These kids are our future,” declared the concerned social psychologist who led the study of a cross section of thirteen- to sixteen-year-olds in London.
A student newspaper survey of teen-agers at a Madison, Wisconsin, high school indicated that nearly two thirds of them had shoplifted at least once. Only about a quarter of these shoplifters had been caught.
Of cheating, a tenth-grader at Walsh Jesuit High School in Akron, Ohio, told a Beacon Journal reporter: “They say you’re cheating yourself, but you’re really not. Everybody does it, so it doesn’t make any difference.” In similar vein, a student poll at Johns Hopkins University revealed that almost a third of the students had cheated by the time they were seniors. And a faculty report at the University of California says: “The present status of the honor spirit has been variously characterized as a ‘joke,’ as ‘shaky,’ as a ‘farce,’ or as ‘dead.’”
A nationwide survey of U.S. teen-agers reveals that over a quarter of them are problem drinkers, having been drunk at least four times in the past year or in trouble over drinking at least twice.