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Girls 'fret about money and career'

Teenage girls today are particularly worried about money and their career prospects in the current economic climate, a new study has suggested.

A poll of 500 British females aged 16 to 19 by Demos, found 84% were anxious about being able to secure the job they wanted in the future, with 81% also worried about doing well in exams.

The survey was commissioned by the think-tank as part of its new report entitled 'Through the Looking Glass', which sets out recommendations for a youth policy to empower young women.

Money fears also featured highly, with more than three quarters (76%) saying they were worried about not having enough money, compared with 38% who were anxious about finding a partner and 57% who were worried about getting into university.

Having more cash to spend was ranked as the top answer (27%), when girls were asked what would make them happiest, while in second place was a good or better relationship with their boyfriend, girlfriend or partner (26%).

The poll also found teenage girls thought success at school/college/uni (92%), having good friends (72%) and being kind/helping people (70%) would enable them to excel in life.

Among respondents 16% were 'not very happy', while 64% were 'quite happy most of the time' and 17% felt 'very happy'. Teenage girls from lower socio-economic groups were less happy than those from higher socio-economic groups, with 13% reporting being 'very happy' most of the time, against 19%, and 21% reporting being 'not very happy' most of the time against 15%.

Almost one in five (18%) said they had been 'often' thinking of themselves as a worthless person, with 4% saying they felt worthless all the time.

According to the findings, young females were more confident about how others judged their character and personality (52%), than how others judged the way they looked (37%).

It also revealed 39% said they were closest to their mothers and would talk to them about a problem, compared with 26% who opted to speak to friends. But almost twice as many (63%) said spending time with friends cheered them up compared with 36% who said spending time with family did so.

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