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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Teenage girls turn to online social networking sites for advice

Teenage girls are increasingly turning to social networking websites for guidance on personal matters, rather than seeking advice from their mothers.

Faced with problems at school, with friends or in relationships, just 25 per cent said they would seek a one-to-one with mum.

Around eight per cent said they would prefer to trawl the internet.

In contrast, 55 per cent of today's mothers said they used to confide in their own mums when teenagers, according to the poll of 1,000 girls aged 13 to 19 and 1,000 mothers with teenage daughters, commissioned by razor manufacturer Gillette.

A fifth of today's mothers admitted they are embarrassed to discuss personal issues with their daughters.

And 22 per cent said they simply did not know how to offer advice to their teens.

The findings show a growing generation gap, with underage sex, abortions, sexually-transmitted diseases and drug use becoming commonplace.

Dr Sandra Scott, a relationship adviser, said: 'The survey revealed that most mums turned to their own mums for advice when they were teenagers.

'It suggests the relationship may have grown even closer as they have got older, with 61 per cent saying they would still turn to their mum for advice.

'However, the survey also suggests that this close bond has declined in mother-daughter relationships today.

'An important part of the mother/daughter bond is the sharing and provision of emotional support and advice.

'Mothers and daughters need to be helped to talk to each other more and understand the best ways to communicate to strengthen their relationships.'

A fifth of mothers polled admitted theit were embarrassed when it came to discussing personal issues with their daughters.

Dr Scott added it was important for mothers to try open, honest dialogue with their daughters on all topics, not just those they felt comfortable with.

'A lack of clear communication between mums and their teenage daughters can act like a barrier driving them apart,' she said.

'In this situation it is common for young girls to seek emotional advice from alternative sources, like their friends or the internet.

'Don't let embarrassment be a barrier to discussion, rather you can use it as a way of starting conversation.

'Mums opening up and confiding about their own embarrassment and difficulty with issues can help teenagers open up themselves.'

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