Child with headphones taking selfie isolated on white

Girls say they feel pressure of social media expectations

Image credit: Lightfieldstudiosprod | Dreamstime.com

Around eight in 10 young teenage girls say that pressure from social media is one of the main reasons for mental ill-health among their age group, according to a recent survey.

Positive lifestyle magazine ‘Shout’, aimed at young girls aged 11-14 years old, conducted a UK-wide poll on the main causes of mental ill-health among teenagers.

The researchers surveyed 286 teenagers with 89 per cent of respondents aged between 11 and 15 and found that most of those surveyed claimed to have suffered from anxiety, stress and bullying and felt under pressure to get likes and followers on social media apps such as Instagram.

More than eight in 10 (84 per cent) said they think pressure to conform to a certain look is also one of the main causes of mental ill-health among teenagers.

Furthermore, around 79 per cent of those surveyed said they feel that adults have no understanding of the pressures they experience in the social media age.

As part of the survey, the Shout UK poll also asked readers who they considered role models, as well as negative role models.

The majority of those surveyed said they consider figures like Harry Potter author JK Rowling and YouTuber Zoella to be their role models, while TV personalities such as Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner were seen as negative role models.

The research also found that almost two-thirds, 64 per cent, of those questioned said they did not feel there was enough support for young people’s mental health

Shout editor Louise Kettle said: Navigating those tricky early-teen years has become harder than ever, so the aim of the magazine is to act as a handbook of sorts, covering everything from mindfulness to periods, anxiety and the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.

On 18 March, MPs called for tough new regulation to protect children from firms operating in an “online Wild West”, urging the World Health Organization to determine whether or not addiction to social media should be classed as a disease.

Sign up to the E&T News e-mail to get great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day.

Recent articles