Post By @CubanWindow

Translation from Rebel Youth 

WIF  Center for Youth Studies / @FuturoCubano1 / A national study of characterization of the Cuban adolescent. (Extract)

Keyla Estévez García, researcher and director of the research project stated that “its behavior is definitely similar to today’s Cuba with transformations, changes; and you have to understand it in that new scenario “

The study

  • A sample of 1 381 135 Cubans between 10 and 19 years of age, 12.3% of the population was chosen.
  • 44.3% of the sample corresponds to males and 54.8% to females
  • 89.5% study, 5.7% work, 1.2% study and work at the same time and 1.9% do neither.
  • 71.1% expressed their pride for living in Cuba, because of Cubans’ way of life, social achievements, citizen security and tranquility, as well as national independence, traditions, culture, arts, Religion and language.

Educational Training

  • A little more than half aspire to enter to the university, to become a professional and to reach scientific degrees through doctorates and masters. In the meantime, one-fifth part wants to earn 12th grade.
  • About 10% say their desire is to finish high school, the skilled worker or the mid-level technician.
  • 27.6% do not respond or do not know what specific specialty they would like to achieve.
  • The main reason they think they need to study is that they want to do a career (34.3%) and because the study prepares them to develop a job or other jobs in the future (23.2%).
  • A considerable number chose not to respond and another attributed the fundamental reason to study the fact of pleasing their parents, fulfilling a social duty, an obligation, or what it is up to them to do.
  • A little more than 80% gives future importance to the study, or it relates to overcoming.
  • It is striking that about 14% of the sample emitted negative criteria about the study.
  • A significant part is not important in the study activity (31.75%).

Professional Inclinations

  • Greater inclination is directed to the Medical Sciences. It is then followed by the Exact Sciences, above the Humanities, which can be an indicator of the work of reorientation that has been developed.

Social Indisciplines

  • Among the social indisciplines that the adolescents recognize to commit are the reproduction of music at any time, improper use of the uniform, throwing garbage on the street, escaping from school or work and abuse of social property. Many of these behaviors are generated by contagion or scaling positions within the group.


  • 81.8% of the respondents affirm that they feel good about their friendships and see their material and spiritual needs fulfilled.
  • As for the main reasons for selecting a friend refer to the responsibility and discipline of the person as well as make it fun. They refer equally to the existence of similar interests and skills in study and work.


  • The most relevant cultural practices refer to listening to music and going to the beach, swimming pools or rivers.
  • Also visit friends and family and see audiovisual products.
  • National television programming is only seen by 44.9% of them.
  • There is disagreement with the hours dedicated to the time of leisure and leisure.
  • The least they do is visit museums and read.

Consumption Habits

  • 11.8% of the adolescents in the sample smoked
  • 35.7% drink alcoholic beverages and 1.7% confess that it consumes toxic substances.
  • Most respondents admit to using these substances only in festive activities. The cigar is the substance that is most frequently consumed.
  • It is men who have higher cigarette smoking habits and toxic substances, while there is a slight increase among women in the ingestion of alcoholic beverages.
  • Age of onset of these substances is marked at 14 and 15 years. However, there is an important group that starts smoking between 11 and 13, as well as drinking alcohol.
  • Among the spaces where it is most consumed is the house and even with the consent of the parents, especially the ingestion of alcoholic beverages.

The Family

  • As age increases, coexistence with both parental figures decreases.
  • 46.2% of men live with both parents, which makes up 44.8% of women.
  • 37.7% of the boys and 39.4% of the girls live alone with the mother.
  • In the capital is the presence of the single parent family through the maternal route with respect to the rest of the municipalities, both urban and semi-rural.
  • To a lesser extent, the coexistence with the father figure and the grandparents. If we compare by age group, increases as age increases.
  • The educational role of the family is evident in the answers, but it was not one of the most mentioned conceptions; Only 11.2% of the boys and 12.9% of the girls did. By group was referred to a greater extent in the 14 to 15 years.
  • The topics that are most frequently discussed in the family are studies, future professional, human values and behavior and friendships. Men recognize that they never or hardly ever talk in family about these issues.
  • By dominating the regulative and informative role of the family, they talk less about corporal changes, personal appearance, relationships, sexuality, work and the situation of the country.
  • The mother continues to be the main source of information and in whom adolescents trust the problems of everyday life, followed by parents, siblings and grandparents.
  • Not telling anyone their problems increases with age. That is the trend of 14 percent of those surveyed in the 16- to 19-year-old group.

Technologies and Social Networks

  • Most reported having a computer, internet access, music players and mobile phone, in that order.
  • The possession of video game equipment is scarcer, but is enjoyed by more than half of the sample. The girls are the ones with the highest tenure.
  • The main access route is through personal property, the most representative being the possession of some kind of support for the reproduction of music, the mobile phone and the computer, in this order.
  • The second route is the one that is done through another person.
  • A large number of adolescents access the internet through Wi-Fi zones, which implies the payment of certain sums of money, usually provided by the family.
  • The exchange of photos, music, videos and games is the main use of the new technologies, and secondly, they relate to obtaining information for the study. It is the women who have the most access to the internet.
  • According to the majority of adolescents surveyed the possession and use of technologies generates happiness and updated information. It is not despicable the group that generates a feeling of superiority.


  •  54% of the boys and 45.9% of the girls had a partner.
  • It is more common to have a partner in urban areas of residence.
  • The most important thing to select a couple is to be in love.
  • In boys, as a trend, their relationships are established with younger people.
  • In girls, ages 12 to 13 and 14 to 15 select couples closer to their age.
  • In the ages of 16 to 19 years it is striking that some describe having pairs smaller than them in age and others refer relations with young people, and even some in adulthood.
  • There is a frequent change of partners, as does an early onset of sexual intercourse, and these are earlier in urban areas.
  • Nearly half of the sample has started sex between the ages of 14 and 15.
  • The fourth part of the sample of those who initiated their sexual relations stated that they protected themselves only sometimes, which is more dramatic among those 12 and 13 years old.
  • The reasons for initiating intercourse are to feel pleasure, to show love to the couple and to gain experience. This is most evident in men and semi-rural areas.


  •  the mother, the father and another relative (it can be a close uncle, brother or grandparents), in that order.
  • artists and athletes, mostly international personalities. The sports figures include Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Also featured are artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Nevertheless, some national artists like Yomil, the Jackal or the Prince, exponents of the reggae genre are indicated.

Student and Youth Organizations

  • The motivations for getting involved in the activities of the Union of Young Communists (UJC) and student organizations (José Martí Pioneer Organization and Federation of Middle School Students) are based essentially on what they like to participate in and is a way of Be updated on issues related to the country.
  • Most adolescents feel represented by organizations; However, as a trend, as the age increases, the proportion of students considered to be represented by their respective organizations decreases. Non-identification with these is associated with the time it occupies and difficulties in its functioning.

Happiness and pride of being Cuban

  • They are generally happy (81.7%), contrary to 12.1% of the sample that expresses a certain unhappiness.
  • The main reasons for being happy allude to relationship system (say family and friends), as well as the experience of positive emotions.
  • The possibility of enjoying citizens’ rights such as health, education, work and recreation are other reasons teenagers express to feel happiness.These same social achievements are the most important reason that makes teens feel proud to be Cuban.
  •    In the western region there are more teenagers who claim to have this feeling.
    The lowest value was expressed in Villa Clara, where 37.1% of adolescents claimed to be proud of being Cuban.
    43.1% of adolescents say they are satisfied with most material needs, while 36.2% admit to having most of their spiritual needs met. 67.9 percent of the respondents expressed feeling good in Cuba.

Job Aspirations

  • The family plays an essential role in the development of conceptions around work. Both parents have the greatest influence in this regard, followed by school.
  • Predominate, in this order, ideas related to work, such as the satisfaction of material needs, spiritual satisfaction, application of knowledge, improvement, social duty or other moral qualities.
  • It is observed that those whose parents work in state entities are those that give higher priority to the possibilities of improvement and professional development, while the children of self-employed are the ones who prioritize more than they are allowed to earn enough money and travel abroad.
  • The main dissatisfactions that affect those surveyed after their insertion in the workplace are related to the lack of orientation and the formalization of training processes for the work they will perform. Important figures of adolescents regularly do not exchange opinions on this issue with their relatives, for example those who do not study or work.
  • Under the umbrella of flexibilization and extension of self-employment, the practice of contracting informally – generally for short periods of time or on an occasional basis – has been proliferated for people who do not register as planned in the system.