|trendSCAN June 2005|
|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 22 April 2009 09:50|
In This Version
Youth at Risk
The term “youth at risk” goes back several decades and initially referred to urban children living in poverty and the myriad of risks associated with such circumstances. The term still holds importance today, but the scope of the term has been expanded to include all youth – regardless of where they live or their economic circumstances.
Just a few examples of continuing concerns about and challenges for youth include:
The Bullying Problem
Ever since the shootings at Columbine in 1999 and Santana High School in Santee in 2001, there has been a growing concern about the impact of bullying upon young people. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development ((NICHD) gathered information that revealed the following about American children in grades 6 - 10:
This NICHD study found that bullying is linked to other types of “at risk” and antisocial behaviors such as:
(Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention)
Middle School Students and Daily Harassment
Researchers at UCLA in the first ever study of harassment among middle school students uncovered a number of important insights.
(Source: Nishina, A. and Juvonen, J. Child Development, March/April 2005).
Trends in Drug Use: Prescription Drugs as Self-Medication
At one time the profile of teens or young adults who abused drugs brought to mind a picture of a school drop-out using cocaine or heroin coupled with a number of other antisocial behaviors. Today the world of drug use among these age groups is actually quite different. Surveys conducted by the University of Michigan researchers and others suggest a new world view of drug use. Some of the elements underlying this change include:
Additional findings of interest as reported by the Substance Abuse Research Center at the University of Michigan were of interest as well. The interim director reported that
Another study conducted by the Institute for Research and Gender at the University of Michigan surveyed over one thousand students in greater Detroit public schools and found that
An additional study conducted at the University of New Mexico interviewed 50+ college students who had indicated misusing prescription drugs in the past year.
FYI About Popular Medications:
(Source: Leinwand, Donna. “Prescription abusers not just after a high”, USA Today, 5/26/05, 3A)
Generational Update: Gen X Turns 40!
Gen X turns 40. It seems impossible, but it’s true. The group that grew up with the Village People and the Challenger disaster find the older edge of the group hitting the big 40. They are often perceived as the “middle child” of generations since they are squeezed between two larger, more attention grabbing groups, the Baby Boomers and Gen Y. (Felt. “Gen X Turns 40”, The Arizona Republic, June 2005)
A mini-portrait of this age group born between 1965 to 1976* includes the following:
What makes them tick?
It is widely believed that the “defining’ moments that occur during a generation’s “formative years” shape who they are throughout their life span. Some of the events that shape this group include:
Core values of this group related to the circumstances of their times. Some suggested values are:
A combination of defining moments and values result in a generalized overview of personality traits such as
(Sources: N. Boyce Appel, president of Appel Associates; Cam Marston, president of Marston Communications from Arizona Republic article)
Why They Are Important?
Even though they are smaller in numbers that either the Baby Boomers of Generation Y, the two cohort groups before and after this group, they are one-third of all adults and they are in the “nesting” stage of life and spending a great deal of money on houses, home furnishings, cars, childcare products and services.
In addition, many members of this generational group will remain working members of society for up to 40 more years.
They Aren’t Boomers
Planners, marketers, and most everybody who develop and attempt to deliver products, programs, or services to people often fall into a trap by creating and communicating to the new group in ways similar to the last group. It is important to remember that Gen Xers are not Boomers and won’t respond if treated as Boomers.
How They Differ from Boomers
Bill Willard identifies a list of attributes that make Gen Xers differ from Boomers as follows:
Approach to Work
Gen Xers has been referred to as “slackers” in the work world mostly because their approach to work differed significantly from that of their older boomer colleagues.
MarcoMonitor in one of its monthly reports shines the spotlight on Gen X as well. This source believes that even though the Gen X group is smaller than the Boomers (57 million adults vs. 70 million adults) that as Boomers begin to retire and die that Gen Xers will account for greater wealth and spending. Additional reasons for encouraging businesses and organizations to focus on this new group include the following:
(Source: Make Way for Gen X from MacroMonitor Marketing Report, April 2004)
Vacations The monies spend on travel and vacation by Gen Xers are beginning to surpass that of the larger boomer group:
*not all sources agree on the exact years in which Gen Xers were born; you may see variations
TIPs: Trends into Practice
How to use McWatch© for trend tracking and service innovations.
McWatch©: Recent Business Decisions
In parks and recreation, we generally lack the resources for extensive market research, yet through the McWatch© method for identifying trends, such information comes virtually free of charge. Each business tidbit reviewed will be followed with possible underlying trend information and suggestions for implementation in parks and recreation.
In this version, a few recent decisions made by companies can give us insight into consumer behavior by virtue of those choices. Some of these interesting decisions include:
Chuck E. Cheese for Older Playful People
Playful inventor, Nolan Bushnell, the original creator of Pong and Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theater, is at it again. He’s pulling together his two inventions and merging them into a restaurant that doubles as a games palace. The uWink Bistro chain scheduled to open this coming fall in Los Angeles (where else?) is intended to be a “party and playful place for young, media-savvy adults”.
(Source: Swartz, J. “Fun and games go along with food at new bistro chain”. USA Today, 5/31/2005)
Underlying Trend(s): This new business suggests that
Possible Application(s): What might this mean for parks and recreation?
Philosophy Cafes for Regular People
Christopher Phillips, a former PARADE magazine writer with a master’s degree in philosophy from Cal State, Dominquez Hills, is considered the Johnny Appleseed of philosophy ever since he founded the Society for Philosophical Inquiry. Now before you begin to think this doesn’t relate to our profession, continue reading. The more than 300 active Socrates Cafes operate in public places such as libraries, cafes, bowling alleys, and even in a Las Vegas casino. Cafes usually focus upon one question per session and use a facilitator to ensure that all attendees have an opportunity to contribute. People are free to say whatever they like, but the emphasis is upon exploring the “why” behind their comments with attempts at rational explanations and/or supporting evidence.
Please Note: Phillips indicates that the number of Socrates Cafes has nearly doubled since 9/11; he believes people are “looking for answers in an increasingly complex world” (Source: Wilson, C. “Socrates taken to the masses”. USA Today. 5/31/2005)
Underlying Trend(s): The Socrates Cafes suggest that
Potential Application(s): Parks and recreation might consider
Pepsi Says Goodby to EDGE
Apparently, there is no half and half. Pepsi axed its “half of the calories” product called Edge while Coke keeps trying to find a market for its C2 drink which also contains half of the calories of regular Coke. Apparently, the idea of choosing among no or low calorie soda, full calorie soda, and a soda with half the calories just doesn’t work with consumers. Pepsi originally developed Edge when market research indicated that 60% of people are “dual consumers” meaning that they switch back and forth between full calorie and diet sodas. (Source: Macarthur, K. “Over the Edge: Pepsi sinks mid-calorie cola. Advertising Age, May 21, 2005)
Underlying Trend(s): There are a couple of underlying trends that can be garnered from this announcement such as:
Potential Application(s): Possible applications for parks and recreation may include:
More McWatch© - There are a number of simple observation activities that are included within McWatch© - they are great for staff brainstorming, planning sessions, or trying to predict the future of your organization. If you’d like a copy of the other activities within McWatch© – just email me and I’ll send them off to you.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 28 June 2009 13:24|