This report is based on a review of recent literature and policy relating to the middle years cohort (which, in this report, is defined as spanning a period from eight to 12 years of age). Based on this evidence, the report has developed a set of key findings about the middle years.
Some of the findings are that children and young people in their middle years can face various social, behavioural and developmental challenges, including the early onset of puberty and disengagement from school. The middle years are a period in which mental health issues can first start to manifest. There is evidence that girls and young women in their middle years are now experiencing poorer mental health than their male counterparts. Gender has a significant impact on the challenges and needs experienced by children and young people in their middle years. In particular, girls and young women can face distinct issues that stem from gender inequality and stereotypes, including issues relating to poor body image, mental health problems, poor wellbeing, low self-esteem, educational disengagement, early sexualisation and experiences of violence.
One Foot in Each World: Challenges and Opportunities for Children and Young People in the Middle Years