A Disney XD-commissioned pan-European study of tweens has revealed a new generation of digitally-aware eight- to14-year-olds who have never known a world without the internet and, in turn, have a heightened awareness of their future and that of the planet.
The study, coined Generation XD, concentrates on the kids of Gen-X parents and was conducted as part of Disney XD’s ongoing channel research. More than 3,000 eight- to 14-year-olds in six countries (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain) were polled.
Disney contends the results shatter many myths about children’s relationships with the internet and their attitudes towards the family and celebrity culture.
The study found these tweens use technology to enhance, rather than replace, face-to-face social interaction. And face-to-face contact is still the most preferable way to meet up with friends (30%), above texting (15%), online chat (14%) and mobile (8%). Homework (59%) scores second only to gaming (74%) for most common uses of the internet.
The study also found that despite the credit crunch, XDs are establishing good financial habits early, with 70% saving their pocket money rather than spending it immediately. And though it has grown up in a celebrity culture, this generation has strong family values and aspires to traditional vocations rather than the pursuit of fame. The top-five aspirational professions are vet, teacher, footballer, doctor and police officer. And topping the poll in every single country as the person they admire most in the world is their mothers at 43%, with fathers coming second at 30%. This demo also says caring for the environment is important. A full 97% believe it is important to look after the planet, and 74% say they already recycling regularly.
Victoria Hardy, executive director of EMEA Research, Disney Channels says that ‘Generation XD’ kids have a heightened understanding of socio-economic issues, deep family values and are already demonstrating behavioral patterns that will have a deep impact on the future.
The research, carried out by Disney, involved the firm Taylor Nelson Sofres, which conducted an online survey of 3,020 8-14 year-olds in Europe. This research was analyzed and accompanied by in-depth interviews with experts to further understand the results of the survey.