A new study from Viacom’s Global Consumer Insights division has found that despite growing up in fluid times and being aware of uncertainty and change, six- to 11-year-olds are developing a fearless attitude to life and are determined to end wars around the world, stop world hunger and spread happiness globally.
Kids of the World, presented at Kidscreen Summit in Miami today by Viacom’s Global Consumer Insights SVP Christian Kurz, surveyed nearly 6,000 six- to 11-year-olds from 31 countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK and the US.
Viacom Global Insights spoke directly with kids to hear their views first-hand on how today’s fast-paced and changing world is shaping their attitudes, experiences and behaviors. Viacom did not soley base the findings on responses they gathered from parents or caregivers. An extensive qualitative phase consisting of in-depth video ethnographies in 11 countries was also completed.
The study found that the top three problems kids want to solve globally are ending global wars (61%), eradicating world hunger (58%) and spreading happiness (53%).
For US kids, as well as children in one third of the countries surveyed, ending world hunger ranked as the number one problem to solve. Eighty-five percent of all kids surveyed also believe it’s better to try things and risk mistakes than never attempt to do something at all. Nearly 90%, in fact, believe they can accomplish anything if they work hard enough (highest in Nigeria at 97%).
Looking at support systems, the survey found that kids are able to survive in today’s world because they feel supported by their family, friends and, for those who have them, their pets.
Family, in particular—whether blended, traditional or multi-generational, headed by same-sex or single parents—is kids’ top source of happiness. Sixty-one percent of children, in fact, say their best friend is someone in the family. The study also found that 63% of kids globally believe that “how good a friend you are” is the number one factor that helps someone fit in with his or her peers.
With base support from family and friends, 76% of today’s global kids also view themselves as highly independent. Among the positive attributes kids describe themselves with are creative and curious (nearly 90% for both), and confident and optimistic (86% for both).
As for media habits, watching TV, listening to music and playing games on a phone or tablet are the top three ways, respectively, for kids to relax. Kids are also fueling their creativity by using a wide range of online resources, from coding courses to crafts tutorials. Of the kids surveyed, 41% have their own tablet, 37% have their own smartphone and 76% say they use more than one device at a time. Forty-four percent also claim to have a social media account.
More information about Kids of the World and Viacom Insights can be found here.