Social support is like the secret ingredient in the recipe of life. As humans, we are inherently social creatures, and our need for connection and support is hardwired into our DNA. But, have you ever wondered how this support system impacts the lives of young people as they navigate the challenging journey into adulthood? In this blog, we will take a deep dive into a global study that sheds light on the patterns of social support among young people in seven diverse countries.
The Quest for Support: In Gallup’s 2023 report “Social Support Among Young People” showed countries spanning Brazil, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the U.S. a remarkable 81% of young people aged 15 to 24 reported feeling “very” or “fairly” supported. That’s slightly higher than the figures for older adults. It’s a heartening statistic, indicating that many young people around the world are not alone in their struggles.
However, there’s a twist to this tale. In each of these nations, a significant portion of young people, ranging from 8% in Indonesia to a concerning 34% in Brazil, admitted to feeling “a little” or “not at all” supported. This discrepancy highlights the importance of understanding and addressing the support needs of young individuals.
The Need for a Lifeline: The study also revealed that young people aren’t shy about needing support. A substantial 82% of them admitted to requiring support “rarely,” “sometimes,” or “often” within the past 30 days. This percentage is notably higher than that of older adults, which stands at 71%. This tells us that young people are not afraid to reach out when they need help.
Support Systems Unveiled: So, where do young people turn to when they need support? Interestingly, despite the rise of technology, the study found that young people and older adults predominantly rely on the same sources and employ similar methods to seek support. However, there’s a generational twist—today’s youth have a stronger inclination to leverage technology. This doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned traditional in-person interactions. On the contrary, they use technology as a supplement, rather than a replacement, for face-to-face support-seeking behaviors.
In conclusion, the findings of this study emphasize that the power of social support among young people should not be underestimated. It’s not only about having someone to talk to; it’s about providing a lifeline in times of need. There’s an incredible opportunity for governments, non-governmental organizations, and private companies to step in and facilitate support for young people when they need it the most.
The key takeaway is that technology, while an essential tool for connecting, should be responsibly used alongside fostering in-person connections. Support, after all, often wears a human face. Whether it’s a heart-to-heart conversation with a friend or a text message seeking advice, the importance of reaching out and being there for one another cannot be overstated. So, let’s cherish these connections and remember that, in a world filled with screens, sometimes the best help is just a human touch away.