Depression and anxiety have risen among teenage girls in England, with more than a third reporting symptoms of distress, although the rates are stable among teenage boys, according to a major survey of 14-year-olds carried out for the Department for Education.
Among the girls, 37% reported feeling unhappy, worthless or unable to concentrate, more than twice the percentage of boys reporting such feelings, a rise since a study in 2005, which was described by the researchers as “an important and significant trend”. The figure for the girls had risen by nearly four percentage points since 2005, while the figure for boys, 15%, had fallen slightly.
The rise was pronounced in young people living in single-parent households or with stepfamilies, and those with a long-standing illness or disability affecting their education. Poor sleeping patterns, including sleeping for less than the recommended amount, were reported among many of those reporting other problems, and will be followed up in later reports.