The UK Children's Society Report warns that more than a million kids suffer mental health problems reflecting the pressure on youngsters to grow up too quickly, that is leaving many children with disorders ranging from depression, anxiety and anorexia to violent delinquency.
Binge-drinking, increased availability of drugs, bullying at school, family breakdown and pressure to look fashionable and attractive are contributing to the trend.
AdvertisementThe fifth in a series of six reports, the study that will be published on Thursday, will urge parents to focus more on steering children away from anti-social behavior, crime and unemployment.
Stephen Scott, professor of child health and behaviour at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, headed the inquiry team.
The Good Childhood Inquiry will also focus on childhood obesity and the current sedentary lifestyles that could trigger a host of health complications in growing children.
National Children's Homes, which offers family support services across the UK, had its head of public policy, Ross Hendry saying, "Support must be in place to meet every need from early intervention through to structured activities for teenagers."
"The impact of emotional wellbeing or mental health problems in children have a ripple effect right through a person's life," Hendry added.
Michele Elliott, of child protection charity Kidscape, said she believes parents are 'largely responsible.' "The pressures on children are horrendous and I think parents are guilty of buying into it. There is huge pressure from networking websites. Whereas in the past they might have had a close group of childhood friends, children are now being given the message that they are not a whole person unless they have 392 friends online," Elliott said.
"The pressure is to appear cool and sophisticated, while bullying can now be done at long distance and any embarrassing minor mistake a child makes at school can be spread around the world," she added.
The last report highlighted that many children feel pressure to have the latest toys and clothes and are anxious and depressed if they are unable to keep up with trends.
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