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Bibby, Reginald W. and Donald C. Posterski.

Toronto, Irwin, c1985. 220pp, paper, $9.95, ISBN 0-7725-1522-0. CIP

Reviewed by Kenneth A. Elliott

Volume 13 Number 5
1985 September

"Project Teen Canada" is what this volume is all about. The authors, both experts in the field, spent four months in 1984 polling some 3,600 teenagers between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. More than one hundred and fifty schools participated nationally. The survey was carried out from the University of Lethbridge. With the results, the authors were able to generalize to an overall adolescent population of 2.3 million. The large sample increased the accuracy to within about three percentage points, either way, nineteen times in twenty.

The format of the book makes for easy and enjoyable reading. With the large type and clear chapter headings, the reader can easily select from among the seventeen areas surveyed. The table of contents lists the preface and introduction together with the ten chapters in an outline format. This will be particularly helpful to those who wish to study the work in an academic setting. The chapter headings themselves stimulate one's curiosity, e.g., "Values: What is Important to Teenagers;" "Enjoyment: What Makes Teenagers Happy;" "Personal Concerns: What Troubles Teenagers;" "Sexuality: How Teenagers Feel About Intimacy;" "Family and Friends: Relationships That Matter Most."

Twenty-eight tables of data are provided so the reader can compare the statistics from among the five regions of Canada. They are clear and easy to interpret. The appendix provides the reader with an excellent analysis of the methodology used in data collection. One is impressed by the very large sample used and by the accuracy of its findings. Attempts are made to cross-reference data with other Canadian and American studies of a similar nature.

The findings of this study are so fascinating that to discuss them all would be to rewrite the study. In brief, the study clearly shows that adults are hindering teenage emergence, for a variety of reasons. The transmission of adult values of the various institutions: family, school, church, etc., has been successful, contrary to what many adults think. The primary importance teenagers place on relationships and music is noteworthy. Why happiness is found more among friends and music than within their own families is cause for deep concern among adults. The three activities least liked are: school, youth groups, and church, for interesting reasons.

This work should be required reading for anyone involved with adolescents, especially teachers. "Project Teen Canada" has enormous implications for the educational system, now and for the future.

Kenneth A. Elliott, Laval Catholic H.S., Chomeday, Que.
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