Two thirds of Welsh youngsters who took part in a survey claim children are viewed more negatively than positively.
And 90% who hold that view feel this negative opinion influences the way they are treated by adults.
The 400 11-25-year-olds were quizzed at this year's National Eisteddfod in Ebbw Vale.
Deputy Minister for Children, Huw Lewis, urged young people to do more to highlight their achievements and change opinions.
The survey figures have only just been made public.
Mr Lewis was speaking as the Welsh Assembly Government launched a new media guide aimed at helping youngsters to outline the positive contributions they make to society.
The guide, 'Tell it like it is', was launched on Friday in front of hundreds of children and young people at the Senedd at an event to mark the 21st Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
Also at the event was Children's Commissioner for Wales Keith Towler, who spoke about the work his team is doing to increase media awareness of children and young people's issues in Wales.
The publication of the new guide follows various studies carried out across the UK which show the majority of adults believe more children and young people are involved in crime or anti-social behaviour than actual statistics prove.
The charity, Catch 22, which supports youngsters in difficulty, found two thirds of adults overestimated the number of youngsters involved in crime.
Adults questioned for the British Crime Survey believed young people were responsible for half of all crime whereas the true figure is just 12%.
Mr Lewis said: "We want everyone to know about the valuable contribution they make to their local communities and we want to applaud them and give them the credit they deserve.
"The guide...will help children and young people tell their story in their own words and share their stories with others.
"My hope is that children and young people will become more confident in sharing their successes and achievements and that everyone across Wales will have an opportunity to reflect on the positive things that children and young people do."
The deputy minister also encouraged the children to use Clic, the national information and advice service designed specifically for young people.