22.2% of girls, and 3.5% of boys aged 16 are struggling with emotional problems, according to a new study. The proportion of girls who are struggling has doubled in ten years. Scientists are alarmed at the figures.
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) asked both boys and girls in 13 high schools in Sør-Trøndelag about emotional problems, self-esteem, body image, coping and avoidance.
The answers surprised the researchers. 22.2 percent of the girls that they spoke with say they struggle with what scientists defined as ‘emotional problems’, it was reported in Klassekampen.
In the last major Norwegian report on the subject, the Akershus survey (Akershus Undersøkelse) from 2004, the figure was only to 11% of girls.
‘These are frightening figures’, said Professor Per Egil Mjaavatn at NTNU, who is one of the two researchers behind the study.
Last autumn, he traveled with his co-researcher, Per Frostad, to talk to 16-year olds.The aim was to get an overview of why youth don’t complete their high school education.
These same students were monitored until they finished secondary education. The contrast between the boys’ and girls’ responses to the survey were striking.
Only 3.5 percent of boys said that they have emotional difficulties. Many of the girls answered that they lose faith in themselves if they answer questions incorrectly, they are often dissatisfied with themselves and they don’t like their bodies.Researchers don’t know yet why girls struggle more with these issues than boys.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today