01 April 2019

LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2017: Who do adolescents spend their time with?

This chapter of the report explores who children from the LSAC study spent their time with at ages 10-11, 12-13 and 14-15. The amount of time young people spend with their parents declines substantially between the ages of 10-11 and 14-15. Time spent with siblings (without parents present) also declined with age, while the amount of time children spent with children who are not siblings (outside of time at school, with other adults or with their parents or siblings) actually changes very little over these ages.  On school days and weekend days, there is a significant increase in the amount of time children spend alone as they get older, with the increase in alone time greater for boys than girls. On average, children of varied ages spend more time with their mothers than their fathers, particularly on weekdays, however this was influenced by family composition and paternal work hours. Overall, the main change was that children were spending more time alone. The study did not find that as children aged they increasingly spent time only with other children. It is possible also that access to social media and online communication is facilitating these young adolescents to spend time with their peers in different ways to that of adolescents of previous generations.