Teenage girls from the 11, 13, and 15 year-old age groups are almost twice as likely to suffer from stress as teenage boys within the same age groups, as suggested by a recent behavioral study.
Specifically, more girls than boys reported psychological stress, low mood, nervousness, and medicine use, according to the study conducted by academics at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. (Oddly enough, 87 percent of young people from Scotland reported high-life satisfaction.)
Among the 15-year-olds from the study, 54 percent of girls had two or more health complaints more than once a week, compared to 29 percent of boys.
Researchers examined the health and well-being of those from ages 11, 13, and 15 every four years since 1990, including their feelings and habits regarding their family life, schooling, physical activity, substance use, body image, and bullying. About 10,800 students participated in the survey over a 24 year period.
Among the findings, researchers noted a concerning increase in bullying, school pressures, and negative body image among young girls, especially over the past four years.
Since 2006, the studies have shown an increase in young people feeling pressured by school work, especially among 15-year-old girls.
Regarding body image, girls are also twice as likely to be on a diet in hopes of losing weight and girls ages 13-15 are considerably less likely to feel attractive compared to boys of the same age.
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Bullying has become a prominent issue in young teens with 14 percent of students reporting falling victim to bullying at least twice a month in the past two months and 25 percent of 13-year-old girls have said they have experienced online bullying at least once in the past couple of months.
“We have observed concerning changes in teenage girls’ mental health,” said Professor Candace Currie, principal investigator and director of the child and adolescent health research unit at St. Andrews.
The results, which are part of an international study covering 43 other countries, are considered worrisome and will be presented by Professor Currie and her colleagues at a meeting in Edinburgh.
Mean Girls may seem a bit exaggerated but it’s an exemplary indication of some of the pressures teen girls go through and this scene couldn’t be more telling.