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5 live Family Week: survey results

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Catherine Norman | 06:00 UK time, Monday, 6 December 2010

We have a specially commissioned poll running on 5 live to tie in with the launch of Family Week, which starts today.

We wanted to find out what people think of their families, so we asked you about various aspects of life with the relatives. Do you get on well? Are you planning on spending Christmas together? Would you put up with the in-laws if they came to live with you? Let me talk you through what we found.

More than three quarters of people told us their families make them feel very happy.

Graph showing things that make me happy

And it seems most of us get along with our families. Only 13% of people surveyed said they had stopped speaking to a member of their immediate family over the past 12 months. When asked about the thorny question of letting their or their partner's parents come to live with them, the majority (53%) said they'd be happy for that to happen.

It seems we're building up a picture of families who get on well and enjoy one another's company. But then we asked if they'd be prepared to report a close family member to the police if they'd committed a serious crime, and whopping 84% of people said they would.

Graphs explaining answers to survey questions

As Family Week is happening less than three weeks before Christmas, we thought we'd ask some questions about the holiday itself. The majority of people said they want to spend Christmas with their families, while only 22% of people said they expect a family argument at Christmas time. Only 40% thought that Christmas is their favourite time of year, and 70% disagree with the idea that although you might want to spend that time with family and friends, you have to instead be with your family. In other words, most of you want to be at home with the relatives.

Christmas with the family

We then thought we'd look at children and the dangers they face. The greatest number of people (43%) thought alcohol and drugs pose the biggest threat to children in the UK today. Next came the internet (15%), and then traffic on the roads, and crime (both 12%).

Dangers to children

On Drive today, you can hear about another aspect of the survey that relates to children. We asked what age is appropriate for kids to be allowed to travel to school on their own. We got quite a wide spread of responses, but the highest number (38%) think it's ok for 10 and 11 year olds to do so.

What age can kids go to school on their own?

Mark Easton, the BBC's Home Editor, will take an in-depth look at the results of our Family Week poll on Breakfast with Nicky and Shelagh from 6am on Monday. You can hear more throughout the day, and Drive will be talking about the stress of Christmas and what people thought was the right age for children to travel to school alone.

Comres interviewed 1006 GB adults online between 26th and 29th November 2010. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults. The figures were rounded to the nearest whole number.

Catherine Norman is an assistant editor at Radio 5 live


  • Comment number 1.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    The very extensive scientific research into well being and happiness means we now understand what factors affect our well being and how we can improve our happiness.
    “The science of ‘subjective well-being’ suggests that as well as experiencing good feelings, people need:
     a sense of individual vitality;
     to undertake activities which are meaningful, engaging, and which make them feel competent and autonomous;
     a stock of inner resources to help them cope when things go wrong
     be resilient to changes beyond their immediate control.
     It is also crucial that people feel a sense of relatedness to other people, so that in addition to the personal, internally focused elements, people’s social experiences –
     the degree to which they have supportive relationships and a sense of connection with others – form a vital aspect of well-being.”

    Several years ago Mark Easton presented a brilliant series on the BBC called ‘The Happiness Formula’ in which some of the extensive research on it was shown. (David Cameron appeared in it)
    “The World Health Organisation predicts that within 20 years more people will be affected by depression than any other health problem. According to the WHO, depression will be the biggest health burden on society both economically and sociologically.” (2nd Sept 2009).
    Basically, if people are to be happy they will need to have developed these 8 skills.
    1. Effective Learning Skills - We need to learn to survive but unless we develop our ability to learn throughout our life the continually changing situations and difficulties in the 21st century will destroy/defeat us.
    2. Communication skills – concentration, verbal skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing), non-verbal skills (visual gestures, body language, touch)
    3. Cognitive (thinking) skills - analytical and conceptual (systemic) thinking
    4. Self-awareness
    5. Managing Feelings
    6. Motivation
    7. Empathy
    8. Social skills
    Therefore if our society is to be really improved – developing these skills is essential.
    I recently ‘retired’ to focus upon ‘helping everyone learn to succeed’, following almost 40 years as a secondary school teacher (and recently as a learning consultant) by providing support and understanding using the extensive scientific research on these 8 skills to overcome the everyday concerns that seem to prevent people from succeeding and improving their wellbeing.


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