Research and Reports
Today's high-school students think they should use their own earnings to pay for the cameras, bicycles, stereos, and other luxury goods that most of them own, but only a minority do so, according to a survey conducted by Highwire magazine, a national quarterly for high-school students.
Of the 600 students who responded to the survey, the results of which were published in the Fall 1982 issue, 85 percent owned bicycles, 84 percent owned a radio or cassette recorder, 80 percent owned cameras, 72 percent had designer clothes, 71 percent owned stereo systems, and 52 percent had televisions.
Although most of the students--72 percent--earned money from part-time jobs, a minority seemed to spend their money on luxury goods. Of the students who owned bicycles, for example, 26 percent had paid for them themselves. Designer clothes were the only item for which students paid more frequently than did their parents.
Many students, however, said they would do better to pay for these items themselves, according to the survey. "Students should try to buy their own stuff because they take better care of it," one girl wrote. "Parents should pay only for things that the kid needs," another student noted. "After all, they have bills to pay, too."
Cameras and stereos weren't the only luxury possessions that students reported owning. Sixteen percent had guns, three quarters of which had been bought by parents, and 37 percent had their own telephone, also bankrolled by parents in most cases.
A small group of students contributed to their room and board, according to the survey, although considerably more favored the idea under some circumstances--for those over 17, for example, or those whose parents need the money.
Educators who would like to see the complete survey, "Students and Their Money," may request a free copy of the issue from Highwire Magazine, Department ew, P.O. Box 948, Lowell, Mass. 01853.