By Marcus Leach

Growing up without a daily routine or structure such as regular bedtimes and set meal times can harm a young person’s school grades and overall wellbeing, warns The Trust's new report.

The Prince’s Trust Youth Index reveals how one in ten young people (10 per cent) feel their days "lacked structure and direction" while growing up, while those with lower school grades are more than twice as likely to claim this (26 per cent).

According to the research, which is based on interviews with 2,136 16-to-25-year-olds, more than a quarter of young people (27 per cent) claim they did not have a set bedtime while growing up. This increases to 39 per cent among those who left school with fewer than five A*-C grades at GCSE.

Young people with poorer grades are also twice as likely as their peers to say they did not have regular meal times (30 per cent compared with 14 per cent).
The charity's fourth annual Youth Index - which gauges how content young people are across a range of areas from family life to physical health - shows a significantly lower index number for young people who claim to have “lacked structure and direction” while growing up than for their peers.

"The absence of structure and routine in a young life can have a devastating impact," Martina Milburn, chief executive of youth charity The Prince’s Trust, said.

"Without the right support, directionless teenagers can become lost young adults — unconfident, under-qualified and unemployed."

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