Indiscipline in daily routine such as habitual bedtimes and regular meals through developmental stages can impair young person's well-being, reveal researchers.
A study of more than 2,000 people aged between 16 and 25 found that one in 10 believed their days lacked structure and direction while growing up, rising to one in four of those with lower school grades.
More than one in four of those questioned by The Prince's Trust youth charity said they did not have a set time of going to bed when they were growing up.
"The absence of structure and routine in a young life can have a devastating impact. Without the right support, directionless teenagers can become lost young adults - diffident, under-qualified and unemployed," said Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince's Trust.
The report also found that almost a third of young people felt down or depressed, while one in five said they felt "rejected" and a similar number believed they did not receive the support they needed at school.