London, Jan 7 (ANI): A leading psychologist has warned against the increase in the numbers of girls suffering mental health problems after coming under "sustained assault" from diet advertisements, alcohol marketing, fashion pressures and access to pornography.
A "greedy corporate world" increasingly sees girls - particularly those in the pre-teen group - as soft targets to be exploited, it has been claimed.
Steve Biddulph, an Australian author and expert on child psychology, said that girls were being forced to grow up too quickly and warned that parents had failed to protect them from external pressures.
In a new book, Raising Girls, he says that a "marked plunge in girls' mental health" was first seen around five years ago, the Telegraph reported.
Parents should take a number of steps to safeguard their daughters, including restricting access to television, banning gadgets from the bedroom and organising more family time with grandparents and other relatives, he said.
The comments come amid continuing concerns over the extent to which childhood is being eroded by the pressures of modern life.
He claimed that adults have not devoted enough time and care around their daughters, or taught them well enough. (ANI)