Byravee Iyer
Dec 6, 2012

Singaporean youth most stressed: Viacom

SINGAPORE - Young Singaporeans appear to be more stressed than their counterparts in other countries, according to a global study from Viacom.

Viacom's research to determine content mix
Viacom's research to determine content mix

The study, The Next Normal, showed the stress level in Singapore stands at 39 per cent versus the Global average of 33 per cent. The youngest respondents, aged between 9 and 14 years, are the most stressed, at more than double the Global average.

Interestingly, losing a mobile phone emerged as the top stressor amongst Singaporeans, with 72.2 per cent saying it stressed them out. Not doing well in school, college and work brought on the most stress for 70.7 per cent of respondents.

"Asians are under a lot of stress, and this is particularly true of Singapore, China and Japan," Christian Kurz, Viacom's vice-president of research, insight and reporting told Campaign Asia-Pacific

In Singapore, tougher government examinations have resulted in children enrolling in learning schools from the age of three. Meanwhile, working citizens are stressed by the influx of educated foreigners who have intensified the competition in the job environment.

The global study covered nearly 15,000* ‘millennials’, or those born between 1982 and 2003. The online study was conducted across 24 countries including the UK, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, India, Argentina, Egypt, France, South Africa, Sweden, Singapore, the USA and Canada.  In Singapore, 451 people between the ages of 9 and 30 were interviewed between June and July this year.

Other findings show that 44.2 per cent of Singaporeans believe they are more tech savvy than anyone else. The global economic crisis is the primary event impacting the millennial generation in Singapore.

A further 68.5 per cent of respondents felt that cost of living would get worse as housing and transportation costs have been on the rise, while 53 per cent were concerned over job security. Still, Singaporeans are positive about the economic outlook for the next year, with 36.3 per cent believing that the economy would get better.

The study was done to help the media network determine its programming content in the future. The findings will reflect in the kind of shows the network does as well as the tone of the shows, said Kurz. He added that Viacom has recently been teaming up with brands to help them understand and interpret the company's findings. A good example is the way Nickelodean recently partnered with dairy brand Vitagen.

Globally, the economic crash is the biggest event impacting the generation. Half of the respondents believe job security will continue to get worse, and 78 per cent of millenials said it’s better to have a job paying minimum wage than to have no job at all.

Surprisingly, despite the gloom, most of this generation is seeing high levels of happiness. In fact, happiness outweighed stress levels globally. Much of this, the survey reveals, is tied to family, with 45 per cent of all respondents saying their best friend is someone within the family.

Another key finding was around the ‘Glocal’ debate. Most respondents in the age bracket are increasingly expressing a sense of affinity with their country. Their sense of national pride is growing stronger, and they are more likely than six years ago to believe it’s important to maintain their country’s traditions.

In 2006, 77 per cent were proud of their countries, versus 83 per cent in 2012. Similarly, in 2006, 68 per cent were keen to maintain their country’s traditions, compared with 76 per cent this year.

* Correction: Due to a typographical error, the story originally said the survey included 11,000 respondents.

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