One in seven young girls are not happy with their lives, according to a new report.
The Children’s Society’s Good Childhood Report has revealed that girls are less happy than they have been before; 14 per cent of 10 to 15 year old girls are unhappy with their lives, up from 11 per cent over a five year period.
The study also found that 34 per cent of girls are unhappy with the way they look, compared to around 20 per cent of boys.
Those who took part in the survey told researchers that that it was often boys who were responsible for cruel comments and criticism. One girl who took part said, ‘girls feel pressured by the boys that they should look a particular way and that leads girls into depression or low self-esteem and makes girls feel ugly or worthless.”
Matthew Reed, chief executive of the Children’s Society said, “It is desperately worrying that so many of our young people are suffering rather than thriving.”
“Girls are having a particularly tough time and it’s clear that concerted action is needed to tackle this problem.”
The report has the backing and endorsement from a number of leading experts including Lucy Beresford, Dr Miriam Stoppard OBE, and Tim Hobbs, Head of Analytics at the Dartington Social Research Unit.
Speaking about the release of the findings, Hobbs said, “This report should make people sit up and pay attention. It is our country’s most reliable insight into the subjective well-being of children and young people, in their own words.”
Stoppard said, “It is deeply worrying that 700,000 girls in this country are unhappy with their appearance – this has serious implications for their mental health and well-being and must act as a wake-up call. It is critical that, as The Children’s Society’s Good Childhood Report shows, effective steps are taken.”
“The Government needs to confirm its commitment to the needs of children and teenagers and make sure that all schools and colleges provide mental health and well-being support so problems are caught before they become crises.”