July 17, 2007

Scientists Find Too Many Hen-Fests Make Girls Crazier

Well, yeah:

A researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia has found that girls who talk very extensively about their problems with friends are likely to become more anxious and depressed.

The research was conducted by Amanda Rose, associate professor of psychological sciences in the College of Arts and Science. The six-month study, which included boys and girls, examined the effects of co-rumination – excessively talking with friends about problems and concerns. Rose discovered that girls co-ruminate more than boys, especially in adolescence, and that girls who co-ruminated the most in the fall of the school year were most likely to be more depressed and anxious by the spring....

“For years, we have encouraged kids to find friends who they can talk to about their problems, and with whom they can give and receive social support,” Rose said. “In general, talking about problems and getting social support is linked with being healthy. What’s intriguing about these findings is that co-rumination likely represents too much of a good thing. Some kids, especially girls, are taking talking about problems to an extreme. When that happens, the balance tips, and talking about problems with friends can become emotionally unhealthy.”

We boys understood long ago that rumination should only occur when one is alone. Behind a locked door. In the dark. And that business about going blind is a total myth.

All fooling aside, I think there is a kind of auto-suggestion that can occur if venting about problems isn't subject to some kind of system of checks and balances, particularly where maliable idiodic teenaged minds are involved.

Incidentally, in answer to Dr. Helen's question of whether "this over-talking and resulting anxiety and depression extends to adult women," based on my empirical observation, I'd say well double yeah, at least with those who grew up kvetching excessively. The daughter is the mother of the woman.

Posted by Robert at July 17, 2007 02:00 PM | TrackBack