Kids shaken by Sandy Hook and other violence, MTV study finds

Real-life violence is taking a toll on kids’ overall outlook, a new MTV study says.

More than one-third of kids ages 14 to 17 say they “plot out escape plans when in public places, because of events like Sandy Hook,” last year’s elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 children and six adults.

In addition, more than half the respondents said they were scared of violence at school.

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An even bigger worry? The economy. Three-quarters of kids said they worried “about the negative impact that today’s economy will have on me or my future.”

And they may be getting tired of social media: “My parents Facebook more than I do,” one girl was quoted as saying.

The findings were part of “The New Millennials Will Keep Calm and Carry On,” which the network called a “landmark generational study.” The survey relied on 1,800 respondents in online polls as well as on focus groups and interviews with demographic experts.

The subject is of obvious interest to MTV, which targets teens and young adults. The network currently uses the term “millennials” to describe this group, which encompasses people born in or around the year 2000.


PHOTOS: Victims of the Newtown shooting

“Millennials are the biggest generation in history, and to stay at the forefront of youth culture, we need to deeply understand the rising tide — who will soon be our core audience and new employees,” MTV President Stephen Friedman wrote in a statement.

However, the results come with some important caveats. A spokeswoman confirmed that participants in the survey were not chosen randomly. That means the results may not be statistically valid. MTV says the sample was “nationally representative,” but it’s not clear whether that meant an exact weighting was achieved or merely that people from different parts of the country were included.

Also interesting: The study did not examine how kids felt about being exposed to the antics of Snooki and her hard-partying pals on MTV’s since-defunct “Jersey Shore.”


What do you think of the MTV study?


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Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT