Four out of Five young Irish people feel the general population has a negative view of them.
A new study of 15 to 24 year olds, commissioned by Electric Ireland, has found one in three suffer from a lack of confidence.
According to the survey 57% of those asked feel that the media has contributed to the negative perception around them.
The report was carried out to mark the company's links to the Young St. Vincent de Paul Youth Development programme.
Electric Ireland's Niall Dineen says the programme has shown real benefits for young people.
He said: "57% say it made them more confident, 62% say it made them more aware of social justice, 48% more ready to help other people.
"Overall, 39% said the programme made them more job ready."