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Members of the media predict life style story trends of the 1980s

What's going to be the big life style story of the 1980s?

Money and personal economics, according to members of the news media polled recently by the Public Relations Society of America, New York chapter.

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''How to cope with the new economy and save for the future, too,'' is the way one editor put it.

''Making do with less money, taking better care of what you have, and investing more wisely,'' is another's opinion about where the life style emphasis will be.

Deborah Harkins, executive editor of New York magazine, says: ''The big life style story this year will be staying afloat - holding on to the life style we've worked to achieve. It will also be how to reconcile work life with family life, caring for aging parents, and rearing children intelligently.''

Annette Grant, deputy living/style editor of the New York Times, maintains that the life style story this decade will be women and the economy, particularly women who are combining families and work.

Marlys Harris, from the editorial staff of Money magazine, says many life style stories will be written about ''the effort to live well in what looks to be a long-term recession.'' She also indicated that unemployment figures being what they are, the newest life style story may well be the return to the one-income family.

Ms. Harris adds that, in sharp contrast to the more self-indulgent '70s, ''control'' will be the key word of the '80s. ''Too many people feel out of control today and that their lives are in the hands of exterior forces, from the possibility of nuclear war to rampantly rising prices. So they will seek whatever sense of control they can muster. They will make their homes more secure against crime. They will tighten their grip on their pocketbooks and on their investments, and spend more time seeking out bargains and getting more financial information for themselves. They will attempt to exert more control over their moral and physical environment, and will try to control, through protection, the religious and family values that mean most to them.''

Many editors thought the big life style stories would be written in terms of ''effects'' - effects of delayed parenthood, effects of the aging of the population, effects of the recession on human relationships, effects of change on the personal and professional lives of two-career families.

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On the other other hand, Michael Demarest, a senior writer at Time magazine, believes the big life style story will be ''computerization.'' And Patricia McCormack, health and education editor of United Press International, says, ''The big life style story of the '80s will be survival - of values, institutions, family, economics, health.''

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