Girls who talk to their friends at length about their problems could be making them worse, psychologists have warned.
By Andy Bloxham
2:22PM BST 23 Aug 2011
The scientists conducted a series of studies and found that girls hoped to feel more cared for, understood and less alone by talking things through.
However, they said it could actually lead to depression and stress.
They advised parents to try to persuade their children that there were other tactics to cope with issues than merely talking.
Four different studies were conducted including surveys and observations of nearly 2,000 children and teenagers.
Amanda Rose, associate professor of psychological sciences in the University of Missouri College of Arts and Science, who led the research, said: “Many girls are at risk for excessive problem talk, which is linked with depression and anxiety, so girls should know that talking about problems isn't the only way to cope.”
The research also confirmed the widely held view that boys think that discussing their problems is a waste of time.
Prof Rose added: “For years, popular psychologists have insisted that boys and men would like to talk about their problems but are held back by fears of embarrassment or appearing weak.
“However, when we asked young people how talking about their problems would make them feel, boys didn't express angst or distress about discussing problems any more than girls.
“Instead, boys’ responses suggest that they just don't see talking about problems to be a particularly useful activity.” ...