1 in 3 teenagers suffer stress survey reveals

One in three young girls aged between 11 and 16 is worried about their weight, a study found.

The survey of 4,500 youngsters revealed that a huge number of young females suffer hang-ups about their image or body shape, despite their tender years.

Fears over not having many friends also emerged as a major cause of concern for girls, as did school workloads and being bullied.

Looking good, arguing with friends and worries over their parent’s financial situation also appeared on the list of girls’ fears.

Boys said their main worries were their parents arguing, bad skin, spots and bullying. Career fears, weight and boredom also emerged as concerns.

A spokesman for Essex Physiotherapy Clinic which carried out the research to mark the launch of their relaxation CDs, said: “It’s worrying to see so many young girls who are concerned about their weight. At that age they should be enjoying life, not waking up and feeling depressed about their appearance. Many young teens are suffering from underlying emotional pressures which are having a direct effect on their physical well-being. Media pressure to conform to pop culture and material expectations are placing ever greater stress on young people.

The study found that girls and boys worry about a wide range of issues, from hearing their parents argue, having bad skin or struggling with homework, to fear of not wearing the right clothes or just being bored.

Worryingly, one in three girls said they felt ‘low’ on a daily basis, stating that they dreaded going to school in the morning because of concerns over the workload, teachers or bullying. This compared to 41% of boys with similar worries the moment they wake up in the morning,

25% of the youngsters surveyed said they felt ‘permanently stressed out’ and of those four out of ten girls said they binged on comfort foods if they felt down.

The survey showed that, whilst teenage girls tend to worry more than boys about their image, relationships, school work and job prospects, boys are more deeply affected by arguments in the home, particularly between their parents. Boys rated ‘Parents Arguing’ as their top concern with 10% more boys than girls worried about this aspect of their lives. In fact, the main concern for girls was ‘Bad skin and spots’, with issues around parents not even making their top ten.

Being too fat was an issue for both sexes but when it comes to self-image, more boys than girls were worried about being too thin.

Researchers were surprised and dismayed to discover that so many youngsters are waking up and immediately dreading something – with many feeling that they have no one to turn to. Their findings showed that, rather than choosing safe options such as relaxation and exercise, teens are more likely to seek comfort in unhealthy alternatives like alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and junk food.

The survey revealed that the 10 top fears for teenagers are:


1. Bad skin and spots
2. Being too fat
3. Having few or no friends
4. Struggling to do homework
5. Getting bullied
6. Not having the right clothes
7. Not having a clue what career to have
8. Not having a boyfriend/girlfriend
9. Arguing with friends
10. My parents’ financial situation


1. Parents arguing
2. Bad skin and spots
3. Getting bullied
4. Having few or no friends
5. Struggling to do homework
6. Not having a clue what career to have
7. Being too fat
8. Not having a boyfriend/girlfriend
9. Being bored
10. Arguing with friends

PPU relaxation visualisations are designed to address fears and worries by creating a positive attitude to the stressful situations discussed in the survey. Relaxation can support you in building the confidence required to help you take control of your emotions, improving your relationship skills and ultimately your health and sense of well-being.

Research conducted by global market research company Onepoll for Essex Physiotherapy Clinic.

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