Study shows teen girls are engulfed by 'sadness, violence and trauma'

More than 50% of teen girls said they felt sad or hopeless for at least two weeks straight and 30% of girls "seriously considered attempting suicide."

High school students

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its Youth Risk Behavior Survey, and there are some troubling findings, especially among teen girls. 

More than 20% of girls in high school reported that they have been bullied online. That's almost double the amount of boys who said they were subjected to online harassment. 

Teen girls also noted the prevalence of sexual violence they experienced. Nearly 18% said they had experienced unwanted kissing, touching or sexual advances. 

"America’s teen girls are engulfed in a growing wave of sadness, violence, and trauma," said Dr. Debra Houry, chief medical officer and deputy director for Program and Science at the CDC.

The toll has led to a mental health crisis among girls. The survey shows that more than 56% felt sad or hopeless for at least two weeks straight and 30% of girls "seriously considered attempting suicide."

If you need to talk to someone, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 or text “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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"Levels of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts and behaviors were twice as high among teen girls as teen boys," said Dr. Kathleen Ethier of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health

The report also shows LGBTQ teens are much more likely to have experienced all forms of violence, and had worse mental health outcomes than heterosexual youth.

"Tragically, almost half seriously considered suicide, and nearly one in four attempted suicide," Ethier said. "This is devastating."

The survey also looked at a range of other behaviors that could be detrimental to teens.

It noted that about three-quarters of teens, boys and girls, do not get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Around the same amount of teens said they spent at least three hours a day in front of a screen, such as a TV, computer or smartphone. 

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