Researchers have found that teenage girls are suffering far worse mental health and wellbeing issues than boys.
The study from the University of Warwick was based on over 11,000 UK teens found that around 15 per cent (roughly 1,650) reported self-harm in the previous year. Among them more than seven in ten (73 per cent) were girls – more than double the rate for boys (27 percent ), the study added.
Poverty is another substantial factor- the study found teenagers from families earning the least were significantly (48 percent ) more likely to report low life satisfaction than those from the wealthiest homes.
“Current policy puts the onus to resolve inequality on individuals, for example young people, teachers and parents,” said study lead author Dimitra Hartas in the University of Warwick.
Dimitra Hartas, study lead author, University of Warwick”Young folks respond by focusing more on itself and less on the social structures likely to encourage mental ill health. Girls and young women tend to internalise systemic problems and blame themselves.” For those findings, the research team analysed data gathered in 2015 into children’s lives by the Millennium Cohort Study, a research project. Questions included how often teenagers self-harmed, their closeness to their parents they were bullied or bullied others, and the number of hours spent on social media.
Similar trends are seen in reports of happiness and self-image. A quarter of teenagers felt completely unhappy with women nearly doubling the speed (63 percent versus 37 per cent).
Over a quarter of young people reported that a low sense of their own price, including poor self-image, with girls being over three times more likely than boys (79 per cent versus 21 percent ). In addition to sex, bullying and social media had consequences for 14-year-olds. Those once a week were likely to report negative feelings than teenagers who were victims or bullied most days.
Young people were 37 percent less likely to report lower life satisfaction than those spending more or five hours.
The analysis also identifies links between positive parenting and good mental health. Outlooks decreased in boys and girls who were close to their parents, and the mothers and fathers of whose understood their children’s whereabouts.
“An explanation may be that vigilant parents are more likely to alert kids to the possibility of danger and violence,” Hartas stated.
“As parental influence declines, relationships with young people the exact same age become more significant — meeting friends often out of school or playing with them unsupervised was found to have a positive effect on mood and outlook,” Hartas added.