Saturday, February 28, 2009

Teens and Ethical Decisions

Results from a survey of 750 American teens conducted by Junior Achievement and the consulting firm, Deloitte showed that — out of 100 teens — only three (3%) are likely to say they see members of the clergy as role models and nearly half say that lying to parents and guardians is acceptable.

The results of the survey on teens and ethical decision-making showed that scarcely any teens (those under age 18) view their pastors, priests, rabbis or imams as role models, with friends (13%), teachers or coaches (6%), and siblings (5%) ahead of the clergy. Fifty-four percent reported seeing their parents as role models.

Although the overwhelming majority of teens (80%) believe they are ethically prepared to make moral business decisions, nearly 40 percent believe they need to "break the rules" in order to succeed. More than one in four teenagers (27%) think behaving violently is sometimes, often or always acceptable, according to the poll. One in five teens (20%) reported to have personally behaved violently toward another person in the past year.

Furthermore, among those who say they are ethically prepared for business, nearly half (49%) say lying to parents and guardians is acceptable. More than three out of five teens (61%) say they have lied to their parents or guardian this past year.

"There is a troubling incongruence between the degree to which teens feel ethically prepared to enter the workforce, and the unethical behaviors in which they engage," commented David W. Miller, director of the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative and professor of business ethics at Princeton University, according to JA Worldwide.

Sean C. Rush, president and CEO of JA Worldwide, said, "The results of the survey reveal considerable ethical relativism among teens and raise questions about their ability to make good decisions later in life ... We're understandably concerned about these results, but recognize that they do point to a major learning opportunity." []

No comments: