« Comment vont nos jeunes? »
The regional public health department at the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal just released the results of the TOPO survey at the Grand Rendez-vous montréalais « Comment vont nos jeunes? ». The survey of 13 400 Montréal children in grade 6 and their parents was carried out in 2017. It draws an accurate portrait of children as they transition from childhood to adolescence, and from elementary to high school.
The themes included the following:
- Lifestyle habits
- Physical and emotional health
- School life
- Family life
- Educational success
What do TOPO results show?
A majority of young Montrealers in grade 6 are from immigrant families:
- Almost 60% have one or both parents born outside Canada
One outcome of such cultural diversity is that a large proportion of youth speak several languages:
- 57% speak more than one language at home.
Although 85% of the children have at least one parent with a college or university degree, and 92% at least one parent who is employed,
- 16% live in households that didn't have enough money for essential items like food or rent in the past year.
Health and lifestyle habits
Almost all—95 %—of young respondents perceive themselves as healthy. However, some of their lifestyle habits could be improved:
- 65% aren’t physically active enough
- 62% don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables
- 40% spend more than 2 hours a day in front of a screen (outside school hours)
A healthy diet and regular physical activity help prevent chronic diseases, and contribute to good mental health and educational success.
Overall, young Montrealers in grade 6 believe they have good social support:
- 86% report having a high level of support from their families
- 62%, from their friends
- 54%, at school
Strong family relationships encourage adoption of healthy lifestyle habits and behaviours. Having friends enables children to talk about their problems more easily when they’re going through difficult periods. Moreover, having the support of a teacher or other adult at school fosters a sense of security and well-being as well as academic engagement, all of which positively influence educational success.
In grade 6, there is already a risk of dropping out of school.
- One in 20 students, or 5%, is at high risk of dropping out.
The Direction régionale de santé publique de Montréal du CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal conducted the survey in 2017, with the collaboration of Montréal school boards, Fédération des établissements d'enseignement privés, Association of Jewish Day Schools, and funding from Montréal – Métropole en santé.