Can too much "girl talk" lead to increased depression and anxiety?
A new study at the University of Missouri/Columbia found that girls who spend a lot of time talking over their problems with one another or "co-ruminating" were more likely to have and develop mental problems than those who did not. The same did not hold true for boys.
Professor Amanda Rose and her colleagues studied 813 children in grades 3 to 9 over a six-month period. She speculated that those girls who co-ruminate too often did not have enough time for activities that might make them feel better about themselves.
"Talking about problems in moderation definitely is healthy," she said. "But co-rumination seems to be too much of a good thing. It's a very negative focus and it makes sense that it could make them feel more depressed and anxious over time."Dr. Rose was unsure why there was a gender difference.
This article appears in the July 2007 issues of Developmental Psychology.