Negative stereotypes of teenagers as drunk, delinquent and uncaring are misleading and only reflective of a minority, the Scout Association said on Monday.
"UK teenagers are more confident, respectful and caring about the world they live in than many of the stereotypes commonly applied to them," it said in a report to mark the association's centenary year.
A survey of 1,004 young people aged 13-18 conducted for the association found that young people expressed positive attitudes towards family life. One in five picked their mother as the adult they admired most in Britain today.
Making a difference to the environment was seen as a priority while there was much cynicism about the influence of celebrities on their lives. Rocker Pete Doherty toped the list of bad role models cited by the teenage respondents, while Kylie Minogue and David Beckham were the most admired.
It found that 95 per cent of its young respondents felt their parents wanted the best for them, while a quarter also felt their parents did not really listen to them. The study also found that boredom was an issue, with two-thirds feeling that way.
But it said that teenagers who were members of youth or sports clubs were far less likely to be bored, be bullied or participate in underage drinking and smoking. "Across a wide range of measures young people who participate in local youth or sports clubs could be judged as better citizens", the report said.
It said they were "more likely to think highly of their family, to have parents who trust them, are involved in their schooling and more likely to talk about safe sex, alcohol and drugs." The study found that participation in local clubs declined with age and socio-economic class.