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Home > Growing up in Ireland. Key findings: 13-year-olds. No. 4. The lives of 13-year-olds: their relationships, feelings and behaviours.

Economic and Social Research Institute, Trinity College Dublin. (2012) Growing up in Ireland. Key findings: 13-year-olds. No. 4. The lives of 13-year-olds: their relationships, feelings and behaviours. Dublin: Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

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This Key Finding reports on data from the second wave of interviews with Growing Up in Ireland’s Child Cohort. The 8,568 children and their families were first interviewed when the children were 9 years old, and then at age 13 years, when 7,400 were reinterviewed between August 2011 and February 2012.

The findings show that the children are generally getting on very well with their parent(s). There appear to be some differences, however, in their interactions with their mothers and fathers. More children said they spent time talking to their mother (70%) than to their father (60%). In contrast, a higher percentage spent time doing fun things with their father (72%) than with their mother (63%).

Substantial proportions of both boys and girls had discussed sex and relationships with their parents – 42% of boys and 51% of girls.

In general, 13-year-olds had a positive self-image. Boys had a more positive self-image than girls. An exception to this was the higher self-image that girls had in terms of their behaviour, indicating less problematic behaviours among girls than boys.

A very large majority (91%) of 13-year-olds had never smoked a cigarette, 7% had smoked at some point but not in the last year and 2% said they currently smoked. Similarly, a large majority (85%) had never taken alcohol. A small percentage (0.6%) of 13-year-olds recorded that they drank alcohol once a month or more.


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