An inevitable part of growing up is becoming independent and taking risks, however, most young people are under the mistaken impression that "everyone" drinking, smoking, having sex, and may feel pressurised to engage in the same behaviours.
Staff in schools, parents and adults in general also much higher levels of risk taking behaviour by young people than in fact is the case. Much of this is fuelled by media sensationalisaton of extreme but relatively rare behaviours. Academic research is also often taken out of context to portray a much worse picture than really exists.
Social norms aims to:
- Provide the true figures on the behaviours of young people in your school
- Enable you to promote the good behaviours of the majority of young people
- Share the data with staff, parents the wider community
- Identify areas of concern that could be addressed via PSHE or other lessons
- Use simple, effective interventions in schools to promote good behaviours
- show positive changes in young people's perceptions about the number of their peer group engaging in riksy behaviours.
- If intervention stage done well, reduce the number of young people engaging in risky behaviours.
Areas of risk where the Social norms approach can have a positive impact
- Sexual Health
The annually commisoned 'How Are You?' Survey tells us how young people's behviour choices change as they get older. Over the last three years we surveyed students from Year 9 - Year 11. The full report can be seen here. A shorter summary of the improved data for smoking can be seen here.