More Schoolgirls Suffer from Emotional Problems

June 8, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. demographics / ˌdɛməˈgræfɪks / (n.) – the characteristics of a particular group of people
Example: The researchers asked the demographics of the participants.

2. ethnicity / ɛθˈnɪs ɪ ti / (n.) – a person’s identity based on his/her race or origin
Example: The girl’s ethnicity is apparent in her facial features.

3. stable / ˈsteɪ bəl / (adj.) – not changing
Example: The number of depressive patients in the hospital has remained stable for years.

4. relatively / ˈrɛl ə tɪv li / (adv.) – as compared with others
Example: The mental health cases this year are relatively fewer than last year’s.

5. expressive / ɪkˈsprɛsɪv / (adj.) – referring to a person who shows emotions openly
Example: I prefer expressive people to those who hide their feelings.


Read the text below.
Research shows that the number of girls experiencing emotional problems in England has increased in the past five years.

Researchers from the University College London and the Anna Freud [froid] Centre looked into the mental health of 1,683 students in 2009 and compared it with the same number of students in 2014. The students were composed of 11 to 13-year-old boys and girls. The researchers matched the students in 2009 and those in 2014 according to their demographics, which included gender, age, ethnicity, and the socio-economic status of their schools.

Results showed that the number of girls who suffer from emotional problems increased by 55% from 2009 to 2014. The study also found that the number of girls at risk of emotional problems rose from 13% in 2009 to 20% in 2014. On the other hand, the number of boys experiencing emotional problems remained stable even after five years.

Dr. Elian [il-YUHN] Fink, lead author of the research, said that the results are surprising, as five years is relatively short. This may suggest that the schoolgirls may have experienced social pressures within the time frame. These social pressures may have resulted from bullying, body image issues, stress from school, and family issues.

The emotional differences between men and women may also play a part. According to another study in 2010, men and women identify, process, and express emotions differently. Women are more expressive and in touch with their emotions as compared with men.

Stereotypes may have also caused the emotional difference between men and women. Societal stereotypes dictate that crying or being emotional is for women and not for men.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Aside from those mentioned in the article, what other factors do you think caused the emotional problems of girls in England?
·         How can the emotional problems among girls in England be prevented?

Discussion B

·         What are some of the problems that teenagers in your country usually face?
·         How do you think these problems can be solved?

June 8, 2015