This is a reading comprehension exercise for children.

It is written by Susan Fineman, a reading specialist in the New Haven, Conn., school district.

COLUMBUS, Ohio--A few bucks a week for taking out the garbage or making the bed? Get real, Mom and Dad.

Those days of the $5 weekly allowance are dead. Today's teenagers who get an allowance typically receive $50 a week from their parents for movies, music and munchies.

A national study published recently by Ohio State University researchers found that half of teenagers got no "monetary transfers" at all.

The study included a set amount of money doled out regularly, occasional spending money or gifts.

Of those who got regular allowances, some reported getting more than $200 a week. The $50 figure is the median.

That translates into about $1.05 billion available for spending each week by 9.8 million U.S. teenagers, the researchers concluded.

The study was published in the December issue of American Demographics.

It is part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a federally funded 1997 survey of 8,984 randomly chosen young people ages 12 to 18.

Teenagers in the Great Lakes region--Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan--get a median of $75 a week.

Southern teenagers receive $30 to $38 weekly.

Teenagers in households with annual earnings of less than $20,000 receive $12 to $14 a week, compared with $175 for those in households where incomes top $100,000.

The more children in a family, the smaller the allowance, the study found.

Sitting outside a Columbus shopping mall, 16-year-old John Bryant said he receives about $100 a week for cleaning his room and the cat's litter box, as well as all the other chores he does to help his parents around their house.

"If I don't do my work, I don't get it," he said.

Cara Banbury, 15, said that her parents give her about $20 weekly for movies and food but that it's not enough.

"I feel like I need more because it's more expensive to do things now," she said.

"They don't understand that."


1. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth asked teenagers:

a) for a $5 donation.

b) questions about spending money.

c) to "get real."

2. The 1997 national study:

a) surveyed a total of 12 18-year-olds.

b) collected information from 8,984 young people.

c) was paid for by parents.

3. Researchers reported that about half of the children surveyed:

a) didn't get a weekly allowance.

b) often gave away money.

c) never heard of "monetary transfers."

4. The survey found that teenagers who get an allowance:

a) typically receive $50 a week.

b) save most of their money.

c) think of it as a gift.

5. Some parents:

a) hate to take out the garbage.

b) earn a few bucks by making beds.

c) regularly give their children $200.

6. Each week 9.8 million U.S. teenagers spend:

a) about $10.5 billion.

b) their money on music, movies and food.

c) Both a and b.

7. The more children in a family, the:

a) smaller the allowance.

b) lower the household's annual earnings.

c) more difficult the chores.

8. A Southern teenager receives an allowance:

a) of about $35.

b) equal to that of a teenager living in Illinois.

c) greater than that of the typical U.S. teenager.

9. Cara Banbury, 15, says that:

a) $20 is too much to spend at the movies.

b) she needs an increase in her allowance.

c) her parents have a lot of expenses.

10. You can guess that 16-year-old John Bryant:

a) is from the South.

b) wants his parents to quit their jobs.

c) understands that he must earn his spending money.


1. b, 2. b, 3. a, 4. a, 5. c, 6. b, 7. a, 8. a, 9. b, 10. c