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BBC Radio 5 Live Family Week Poll

BBC Radio 5 Live poll of public attitudes towards family life published 6 December 2010

Date Published: 06 Dec 2010

Categories: Education | Health | Public and communities | Social | UK





·        97% of people say their families make them happy

·        People are happy to be with their families at Christmas – although it’s not the favourite time of the year

·        Alcohol and drugs seen as the biggest danger to children

·        Majority of people would be happy for parents or in laws to move in with them.

·        Couples should not stay together for the sake of the children

·        84% of people would report a family member who had committed a serious crime


People are overwhelmingly positive about their families – and expect a happy Christmas with them, a new poll looking at aspects of family life commissioned by Radio 5 live has found.


Radio 5 live’s poll marking the start of the station’s Family Week on December 6th, finds that reports of the demise of family life are largely unfounded. The poll also offers insight to attitudes to family life, relationships and child safety issues.


97% of people say that their families make them feel happy against just 2% with the opposite view, compared to just 60% saying that their job makes them happy.


People seem to be relishing a family Christmas rather than dreading it. Well over two thirds (70%) disagree with the statement that  they prefer to spend time only with friends or a partner at Christmas but feel obliged to spend time with the family whilst three in ten (29%) of people agree.


Only one in five people(22%) expect a family argument at Christmas but the vast majority (77%) disagree.


With Christmas approaching and family reunions top of mind 13% of respondents agree that they had stopped speaking to an immediate family member over the past 12 months, with 86% disagreeing.


Whilst  largely happy to see relatives at Christmas, only 40% of people regard Christmas as their favourite time of the year with 6 in 10 (58%) disagreeing.


84% of people agree that they would report a closed member of their family who had committed a serious crime to the police against 9% who disagree.


Turning to relations with parents and in laws, 53% of people agree that they would be happy for their parents or in laws to come and live with them with 42% disagreeing. 


Among women the figure was slightly higher with 56% agreeing against 39% disagreeing. Men were slightly less willing to move the parents in with 50% agreeing and 45% disagreeing.  The most positive age group towards the idea was 18-24 year olds, with 66% agreeing with the idea of their or their partners parents living with them against 34% disagreeing.  


Amongst 55-64 years olds the figure was more balanced with 44% agreeing and 40% disagreeing. 


Respondents perceived  the biggest danger to children to be from alcohol and drugs (43%) the internet was second on (15%)  road traffic (12%)  crime (12%)  other categories cited included copying celebrity culture (9%), other children (4%) and climate change (1%).


Nearly two thirds of people (65%) disagree with the statement that people should stay together for the sake of the their children even if they would not stay together otherwise, compared to a third (29%) who agree.


Family Week on BBC Radio 5 live from December 6th unpacks some the most fundamental relationships in our lives telling the stories celebrating the characters and revealing the secrets of family life.  Shelagh Fogarty traces her family line, the acclaimed Men’s Hour returns to Radio 5 live on Thursday December  9th.

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