The eternal problem of teenagers could bee slowly declining. According to recent research, Icelandic teenagers don’t drink as much as they used to. But they do tend to break away from their families earlier.
According to research on drinking habits of teenagers in Western Europe, Icelandic teenagers begin drinking later than their peers in other European countries. Those teenagers who do drink, however tend to drink more than their peers.
The research was a comparative research into health and living conditions of teenagers from 13 to 16 in 38 countries in Europe.
“The research shows that our goal to decrease teenage alcohol consumption by raising the age of majority from 16 to 18 has been successful.” Thoroddur Bjarnason, professor at the University of Akureyri told Morgunbladid
Iceland stands out for the high level of independence of teenagers, declining supervision of parents, and a high frequency of accidents.
According to the research, relations with parents are going downward, and by the time of 15 the average Icelandic teenagers brakes away from his/her family and the friends take over as some kind of a family.
Sjöfn Thórdardóttir, the chairman of the Home and School parent’s organizations is worried about teenagers’ relationship to their parents. “It is worrying that the relationship between parent and child is declining more in Iceland than in other countries. In the summertime, parents get the opportunity to spent time with their children, so now’s the time.”
The high frequency of accidents could be explained by declining parental supervision.
The research also investigated sexual behavior of teenagers and the results show that Icelandic girls start sooner to have sexual intercourse than girls in other European countries. Icelandic boys on the other hand follow their peers in Europe when it comes to sexual experiences.