Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Girl Talk leading to Depression?

Girls have always been known to tell their friends basically everything about themselves. From who they have crushes on, to whom they think are the prettiest girls, and so on. Up until now, we have had no reason to believe that this "sharing of information" was unhealthy in any way. Indeed, there has been new research done stating that excessive discussion of "problems" and "stuff" will strengthen friendships, but take a very emotional toll on girls ages 8-15. Non-stop venting about popularity, crushes, and personal issues could lead to anxiety and/or depression for girls, but not for boys. The results of this study may be reflecting the tendency among girls to blame themselves when guys don't call them back right away, or they don't get invited to "the party." Apparently the more they talk about it, the more anxious and depressed it makes them. So, is it really better to share feelings, rather than keeping them "bottled up inside?" Students were surveyed twice, six months apart. Researchers used questionnaires to assess students' anxiety, depression, and friendship quality, and tendency to relay their problems. Ultimately, they found that students with emotional difficulties were more likely to ruminate about their problems. Then, examined the effect this had on the students emotional well-being and friendships. While the boys had no changes in feelings of depression or anxiety, the girls felt worse, although the change was a modest one. Basically, girls are at risk of this despite having strong supportive friends. This supports findings that support groups can reinforce eating disorders or delinquent behaviors. Most people think having similar social support wold be a positive thing, but putting people with similar issues together doesn't necessarily make anything better.

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