the worrying annual report of some research institutions

As every year, the national survey on the lifestyles of adolescents living in Italy, conducted by the non-profit association Laboratorio Adolescenza and the research institute IARD on a nationally representative sample of 5,600 students, returns to il · Enlighten us on the perspectives of our young people in the 13-19 age group.

Worried and disappointed by the future and aware that Covid has irreversibly compromised his in part education. Much less likely than in the recent past to undertake university studies. Greedy and sedentary, dissatisfied with their physical appearance and at the mercy of an aesthetic dictated by influencers and fashion bloggers. Increasingly “connected” and with a slow but steady deterioration of relationships in the family and with the peer group. The generalized desire, much increased over the past, so much so that it almost tastes like a “desire to escape,” is to travel.

This is what emerges from the 2022 report. “After the year of Covid -explains Maurizio Tucci, president of the Laboratorio Adolescenza- we had put in this year’s survey the title” Adolescence between hopes and fears “, but unfortunately, data in hand, the fears seem to be much greater than the hopes. Moving from the father to the war, without a solution of continuity, has made the adolescents, already very psychologically affected by the pandemic, be even more fragile and fearful. A fact that describes the situation without mercy. age that everyone should look to the future, in which dreams and utopias should be the masters, in which one should be optimistic almost “for status, “52.7% of adolescents look at their own future as” uncertain “or” worried. ” The “optimists” are 14%, a percentage that drops to 12.7% among high school students and 11.8% among girls. is that the panorama that these teenagers see when they look out the window of their future we have built it, piece by piece ”.

The difficulty of resuming sociability at the mercy of “social” models.

58% of adolescents (69.4% of women) involved in the survey say that in the two years of the pandemic they ate inadequately (too much, too little, without regulation …) and 37% complain of having gained weight. Beyond this somewhat objective aspect, 27% (35.4% of women) “look” fatter than their girlfriends average. And most importantly, 50.5% (60.7%) of the girls are not satisfied with theirs appearance Generally.

If in adolescence it is generally not easy to accept a body in strong transformation with serenity, the research reveals -comparing the data from the surveys of the Laboratory of Adolescents-IARD of recent years (conducted in comparable samples) – an effect derived from the period Covid. , in which relations have been drastically reduced, and the present returns to normal. In 2020 (data collected before the outbreak of the pandemic) dissatisfaction with physical appearance affected 31% of men (today it is 39%) and 55.4% of women (today it is 60 , 7%). The percentages of “dissatisfied” that the year of confinements and “limited sociality” had decreased (27% men and 50.1% women).

What can be understood from this data is that much of the problem stems precisely from the comparison between him and the others. What, moreover, should the adolescents themselves admit when they state (34% of men and 53.7% of girls) that in the assessment of their physical appearance the criterion of friends and companions is important.

But above all, the role of is very important to influence the relationship with the body itself, and therefore also with food. influencer, fashion blogger, fashion, advertising. This is true for 59.1% of men and even 77.6% of girls. And conditioning increases with age, from 63.5% among high school students to 70.1% in high school. This evidence is worrying but not surprising if we consider that 76.1% say they have spent much more time on social media than in previous years.

The “wish list” you like best (see table) is almost endless – and even here we find a noticeable increase in aesthetic dissatisfaction with the past – but at the forefront of girls’ wishes there is always more premiums (67%) and those of boys to be superior (57.2%). Going from high school to high school, the “desire,” with some explicable exceptions, tends to increase.


The females


Secondary school

high school

I would like to be thinner





I would like to be less thin





I would like them higher





I would like to be less tall





I would like some more beautiful teeth





I would like more beautiful skin





I would like a nicer nose





I would like prettier breasts




The contribution of the school

“If our annual observatory on the lifestyles of adolescents has been running successfully for more than twenty years,” says Carlo Buzzi, a sociologist at the University of Trento and scientific coordinator of the work, “it is only thanks to the sensitivity of schools.” Dozens of teachers and managers all over Italy who have been collaborating in extraordinary ways for years, taking care of the administration of the questionnaire. A very important contribution to social research on an often neglected age group – that of adolescence. The size of the sample – more than 5,000 cases – and the continuity with which we are able to conduct our surveys allow us, in fact, not only to photograph the adolescent reality, but also to observe and describe the evolution of habits and lifestyles. , often very fast, that worries you “.

Research to plan the future of young people

“Knowing adolescents, also through research – says Paolo Paroni, President of the ITER Network-Istituto IARD – is an essential starting point for planning interventions and policies aimed at ensuring the new generations a social context in which to live adequate to “This is precisely the aim of the ITER Network, which proposes concrete and measurable interventions in favor of young people, to be carried out also taking advantage of the funds that will come from the Recovery Fund”.

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