More than a third of girls have wellbeing affected by online pressure, says Girlguiding

The charity has released its ninth Girls' Attitudes Survey

The pressure to present a "perfect" life online is affecting the confidence and wellbeing of girls and young women, an in-depth survey from Girlguiding has shown.

The charity found that more than a third of girls aged 11 said that comparing their lives with others was one of the greatest worries they had about spending time online.

A similar proportion of 11 to 16-year-olds said they worried about how they looked in photos and about a quarter were concerned that they felt the need to check their phones first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

The figures come from Girlguiding's ninth Girls’ Attitudes Survey, the largest piece of research about girls and young women in the UK. It questioned 1,906 girls and young women aged between seven and 21 from across the UK about their lives, beliefs and activities.

The survey also found that the amount of time spent online was a concern that only worsened as girls got older: 40 per cent of those questioned aged between 17 and 21 said it was their second greatest worry next to being distracted from academic work.

The latest findings come as more girls and young women use social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube as recreational activities.

The survey also highlighted a gap in the perception of online dangers and how parents are at risk of underestimating the impact that a life online can have on their daughters.

It found that girls recognised that, although their parents were aware of threats to their daughters' safety and of online grooming, less than half (47 per cent) of girls questioned felt that their parents realised the pressures they faced from social media.

The ninth Girls’ Attitudes Survey will be published by Girlguiding later this month.

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