So you think that most young people avoid their parents, love to hang around discos or go to rave parties, right? You are wrong. A recent study on the lifestyles of young people has revealed they have a strong desire to improve their relationship with parents and friends. They prefer to shop, play online games and sing karaoke during their free time, according to a quarterly survey of 311 people aged between 10 and 24 conducted by 7-Eleven in October. More than 30 per cent of respondents said they wanted to make more friends and 27 per cent hoped to improve communication with their parents. The figures represented an increase from a poll carried out in July. Among other things, young people want to be happy, look more attractive and achieve better academic results. The findings came as no surprise to veteran youth counsellor Vivian Chiu Wai-wan. 'These are the very basic developmental tasks during adolescence. Young people always consider better looks and good academic results as the benchmarks for establishing value and identity,' said Ms Chiu from Breakthrough Counselling Centre. 'A good family relationship is also important to young people. However, the issue is always overlooked and too much emphasis is put on young people's desire for more independence. 'In many of our cases, arguments with parents and family problems are the major causes of anxiety and stress among youth.' Ms Chiu said children found it difficult to talk to their parents about future plans. 'Many students cannot live up to the expectations of their parents. Sometimes, they just do not agree with their parents.' The survey revealed that students' average pocket money dropped by $60 to $270 a month between July and October. Seventy per cent said shopping was their favourite activity, followed by karaoke, going to movies, and playing sports and online games. Individual spending on online games doubled from $25 per month to an average of $55 for October. Only eight per cent of respondents said discos and rave parties were their favourite leisure activities. The popularity of sports rose from 26 per cent to 33 per cent. David Tso, who conducted the survey for the chain store, said: 'China's qualification for the World Cup soccer finals and Beijing's successful bid for the Olympics have increased young people's interest and participation in sports. 'Taking part in sports not only helps to enlarge young people's social circle, but also enhances their self-esteem.'