June 25, 2009

Teenage girls more and more stressed

Teenage girls experience daily stress caused by responsibilities they take on and how they are viewed by others, a Swedish researcher said.

Doctoral student Katarina Haraldsson of the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden conducted in-depth interviews to determine how girls perceive their influence over everyday life.

Haraldsson said girls who had voluntarily taken on responsibilities began perceiving their situation as forced when they did not encounter respect from others.

Many people believe that the stress experienced by secondary school girls relates only to school. However, the picture is far broader, Haraldsson said in a statement. Girls feel responsibility for various types of relationships, such as with friends and siblings, or have taken upon themselves leisure time commitments in various associations and organizations.

In her dissertation, Haraldsson said stress and worry have increased markedly in recent years among teenage girls. She suggests a deeper understanding is needed of the underlying social pressures they encounter.

Haraldsson said greater influence over everyday life, emotional support and cultural and recreational activities all seem to help teenage girls withstand stress.