Study: Boys feel discussing problems is waste of time - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Study: Boys feel discussing problems is waste of time

(KFVS) -

A new University of Missouri study finds that boys feel that discussing problems is a waste of time.

Amanda J. Rose, associate professor of psychological sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science, and her colleagues conducted four different studies that included surveys and observations of nearly 2,000 children and adolescents.

The researchers found that girls had positive expectations for how talking about problems would make them feel, like expecting to feel cared for, understood and less alone. However, boys did not endorse some negative expectations more than girls, like expecting to feel embarrassed, worried about being teased, or bad about not taking care of the problems themselves. Instead, boys reported that talking about problems would make them feel "weird" and like they were "wasting time."

"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," said Rose. "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."

Rose recommends that parents encourage their children to adopt a middle ground when discussing problems.

The paper, "How Girls and Boys Expect Disclosure About Problems Will Make Them Feel: Implications for Friendships," will be published in an upcoming edition of the journal Child Development.

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