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Barna Studies Teen Role Models

A new Barna study probed the role models of teens. The most commonly mentioned role model among 13- to 17-year-olds in the study were relatives, even when answers were limited to non-parents; more than a third of teens named a grandparent, sister, brother, aunt, uncle or cousin when asked who they admired most. After “family,” teens mentioned teachers and coaches (11%), friends (9%), and pastors and other religious leaders they knew personally (6%). In a press release, president of the Barna Group David Kinnaman said, “For better and worse, teens are emulating the people they know best.” Only 6% of teens named someone outside the realm of who they know personally, including entertainers, sports heroes, political leaders, and faith leaders. The leaders most often named were President Barack Obama and Jesus Christ; the celebrities and sports professionals most often named were Tyra Banks, Rob Dyrdrek, Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Steven Spielberg, LeBron James, Peyton Manning, Mike Tyson, and Oprah Winfrey.