The findings, published online by the European Journal of Public Health, claimed a growing proportion of 11 to 15-year-olds, dubbed the “Facebook Generation”, are less likely than their predecessors to do drugs, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and be bullied.
“We have seen a decline in young people experiencing bullying, drinking alcohol weekly, and increasing numbers living free from tobacco and cannabis,” said study coordinator professor Candace Currie from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
The results show that over the last decade an increasing proportion of adolescents eat fruit and vegetables, are physically active on a daily basis, keep their teeth clean, practice safe sex, and find it easy to talk to their parents about things that matter to them.
The report suggested that the general feeling that young people are better off today could also be attributed to changes in fashion, behavioural norms and societal values.
However, if there was one thing teens today did not do as well as their predecessors, it was personal social interaction.
In what researchers called the “Facebook effect”, teenagers today are more likely to stay in the rooms and play with gadgets than go out and be with their friends.