Young Brits are turning their back on alcohol, cigarettes and drugs, but are more prone to self-harm and eating disorders, according to recent research. A newly published government paper draws particular attention to the growing influence of social media and the Internet on young people’s behaviour. While drug use, binge drinking and teen pregnancy were a real worry in the past, today’s teens are more likely to fall victims to cyber-bullies and are more frequently exposed to “hate content, self-harm and pro-anorexia” websites. Eating disorders and self-harm have become more common in recent years, especially among young women. Recent research suggests that a third of 15-year-old girls has experimented with self-harm. “We still do seem to have a problem with young people not feeling happy, not feeling supported – communication between parents and children in this country is not as good as it is in others,” says Suzie Hayman, spokeswoman for Family Lives.
Shift in Risky Behaviour among Young Brits