More than 25% of one million girls in the UK are unhappy with their lives, according to the latest Good Childhood Report.
The Children’s Society’s yearly study into children’s wellbeing has found there is a growing gap in happiness between boys and girls, and that girls are less happy than they used to be.
The proportion of 10-15 year-old girls who are unhappy with their lives as a whole has risen from 11% to 14% in five years, while boys’ happiness has stayed the same at 11%.
This means that one in seven girls is unhappy with their lives compared to one in nine boys.
A big cause of discontent amongst girls was unhappiness about appearance, which was found to affect one in three girls.
Older girls in particular were more likely to experience mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and there was a found association between this and how they felt about their appearance.
At age 10, boys are actually more likely to have a mental health problem than girls of the same age, but by age 14, the situation reverses.
Boys’ feelings about how they look has again stayed stable over the years; one in five boys of the same age is unhappy with their appearance.
While the Society didn’t find any solid evidence that linked wellbeing to regional differences, or how deprived their area is, children’s perceptions of their local area - how safe and free they feel, whether they have noisy neighbours or witness drink and drug taking - were clearly related.
You can read a summary of the report here.
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