You have your mother’s eyes and your father’s debts: Study finds how teens inherit money habits from their parents

It would appear that genes aren’t the only thing that parents pass down to their children, with a study finding teenagers exhibit similar traits when it comes to handling their finances.

Young people whose parents struggle to pay off their debts are less likely to budget their own finances sensibly compared to those with parents who can live within their own means, the Money Advice Service has found.

And two-thirds of 15 to 17-year-olds whose families can save for ’emergency costs’ have a regular habit of saving their pocket money or wages from part-time work, compared to 47 per cent from families who can’t cope with unexpected costs.

Money Advice Service chief executive Caroline Rookes said: ‘We know our money habits are formed very young, and once formed are extremely difficult to shift.

‘But I am struck by how heavily a young person’s money management habits are influenced by their family’s past and present financial behaviour.

‘This is our first glimpse of how these young people are coping with the transition into adulthood – we see a generation “coming of age” through a period of austerity, a group that’s witnessing rapid financial change and learning how to cope and plan.

‘It’s vital we keep track of their habits effectively so we can better understand their challenges and help them deal with life’s financial ups and downs.’

Although teenagers take note of their parents’ attitudes to money, there are positive signs that they will be better equipped to deal with their finances once they reach full adulthood.

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Career colleges to teach pupils to become carers

Thousands of pupils will be able to learn how to become carers and chefs in a new network of ‘career colleges.’

The colleges will see pupils taught practical skills for work, while they continue studying for GCSEs in maths, English and science.

Under plans for the new centres teenagers will be able to leave school two years earlier at 14 and go to one of the colleges to learn more vocational skills.

It is hoped the ‘career colleges’ will plug a skills gap in England and help to reduce the number of people who are unemployed.

“By starting at 14, youngsters have a head start in preparing for the world of work as they do in Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands, where youth unemployment is much lower,” Lord Baker of Dorking, who will publish the plans today, told The Independent.

He said it was “about time” the skills gap in the UK was filled with “our own young people” rather than people from overseas being brought in because they had the skills needed.

Lord Baker said the aim of the career colleges was to ensure every 16 to 18-year-old was in work or educational or vocational training when they left school. The latest government figures show there are more than 200,000 in this age range who are not in employment, education or training (Neet).

Scientists unravel the mysteries of the teenage brain

Teenage mood swings were immortalised in Harry Enfield’s comedy character Kevin, but now scientists are researching exactly why he and his real-life peers feel everything is “so unfair.” Scientists believe the scans of the young people being examined will show gradual changes in the white matter of their brains Psychiatrists at Cambridge University have begun a £5m study of the adolescent brain in which they aim to pinpoint changes in the way it is wired that are responsible for the impulsive and emotional behaviour so familiar to parents of teens. The project will involve scanning the brains of 300 people aged between 14 and 24 to investigate the way they change as the person matures and whether these changes are what cause teenagers to gradually shed their sometimes antisocial behavioural patterns.stroppy teenager

The researchers also hope to learn more about how mental disorders develop in young adults in the process. Professor Ed Bullmore, one of the psychiatrists involved in the study, told BBC News: “MRI scans will give us very good pictures of how the anatomy of the brain changes over the course of development. We are particularly interested in how the tissue at the centre of the brain, known as white matter, might change over the course of development.”

He believes the scans of the young people being examined will show gradual changes in the white matter of their brains as it starts to bring under control the impulses caused by hormones. More adult behaviour is expected to result from the brain changes observed.

Dr Becky Inkster, another of the scientists working on the study, added: “Arguably we’ve all been there and it’s a very awkward and complex and confusing time of life. So to be able to express oneself is quite difficult. So by the use of imaging and other tools we can really tap into these features of the adolescent brain and understand how they develop over time as they become a young adult.”

In A Flash: Meet the Ansteys (Intro)

This hard-hitting and unique, multimedia resource developed by dbda on behalf of London Safety Camera Partnership (LSCP) aims to address key issues faced by young people in their pre driving and early driving years. It is based around an emotive storyline where the lives of five young people are changed forever, in one night. Take a look at the first of nine parts.

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