COLUMBIA, 9/27/11 (Beat Byte) -- For an upcoming paper in the journal Child Development -- "How Girls and Boys Expect Disclosure About Problems Will Make Them Feel: Implications for Friendships" -- Mizzou psychology professor Amanda Rose found that boys think talking about their problems is a waste of time.
Girls, on the other hand, talk about their problems so much it can lead to depression. "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," Rose explained.
The two sides of childhood male and female problem talk, she believes, "play into future romantic relationships."
Romance often involves a "pursuit-withdraw cycle" in which one partner (usually the woman) pursues talking about problems while the other (usually the man) withdraws, Rose said.
"Women may really push their partners to share pent-up worries and concerns because they hold expectations that talking makes people feel better," she explained. "But their partners may just not be interested and expect that other coping mechanisms will make them feel better. Men may be more likely to think talking about problems will make the problems feel bigger, and engaging in different activities will take their minds off of the problem.
"Men may just not be coming from the same place as their partners," Rose said.