Assessing Attitude Across Different Age Groups in Regard to Global Issues: Are Kids More Optimistic Than Adults?

(1) Doherty Middle School, Andover, Massachusetts

The world faces many problems. This study attempted to determine to what extent people are aware of the current global issues and whether people believe some of them may be successfully addressed. The main objective of the study was to understand if there is a correlation between the age of a person and their outlook. We hypothesized that a positive outlook, i.e. a general belief that many issues can be resolved, would be common among children, from elementary through high school, whereas adults would have a more negative perspective. This research was conducted using a survey-based study. The results supported the hypothesis and showed that children appear more optimistic than adults and believe that most issues can be addressed in the future. Adults are less optimistic and believe that, even with time, it is impossible to resolve many of these issues. Regardless of age, many respondents commented that technology, improved communication, kindness, and general willingness to change, along with an effective political agenda led by non-corrupt politicians, are essential for successfully resolving major problems. On the other hand, greed, selfishness, and the corrupt political system largely prevent any improvement.

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