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Teen behavior today: better or worse?

A look at how much trouble today’s youth really is

Teenagers have always had the reputation of wild rabble-rousers. A young, dangerous combination of new hormones, energy and no real responsibility. They drink, they have sex, they drive their cars around with reckless abandon — or do they? According to NRN research, today’s teens may be better behaved than past generations.

And while teenagers have sharply increased their reliance on some technologies during the past decade, including smartphones and digital streaming entertainment, it appears that over a longer period a dwindling share of teens has embraced a long-favored device: the automobile. Declining percentages of teens, by age group, acquired a driver’s license between 1983 and 2014, research by the University of Michigan found.

It is not yet clear what that means to the restaurant industry — either in terms of teen participation in the foodservice workforce or how it might boost sales through increased delivery orders or harm the top line because of reduced teen access to distant drive-thrus and dining rooms.

Take a closer look at what today's teens are really up to.

This is part of Teen Vision, a special report about how this generation works, eats and plays.

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