Monitor on Psychology - December 2011 - (Page 13)

For boys, sharing may seem like a waste of time, finds new research strategies if adults recognized that they may sometimes want to Research has long shown that boys are less likely to disclose tackle a problem on their own, Rose adds. thoughts and feelings with one another than girls are. Popular “Some of the time they may choose to solve it themselves, psychology had posited that boys’ reticence to talk about and I think that should be respected as well.” feelings was a fear of being embarrassed or ridiculed by peers. But new research in press at Child Development, suggests —t. DeANGEliS differently. Rather than feeling embarrassed, it finds, boys may perceive that sharing is simply a waste of time. “It isn’t so much that boys avoid talking about problems because of worries, concerns or feelings of angst,” says lead author Amanda J. Rose, PhD, associate professor of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri. “It’s more that they don’t see it as having utility.” Rose and colleagues conducted four studies examining what boys and girls expect to get out of sharing their feelings and how much they actually disclose. In the first three studies, they had approximately 2,000 students from third to ninth grade fill out surveys assessing how much they talk with friends about problems. In the fourth, observational study, the researchers gave same-gender adolescent friends up to 16 minutes to talk about their problems. Across all studies, boys talked to friends about problems less than girls. Girls were more likely to say they expected that talking about problems would make them feel less alone and more cared for, while boys were more likely to say it would make them feel like they were wasting time or make them feel “weird.” Meanwhile, both boys and girls reported low levels of expecting that disclosing would make them feel uncomfortable, worried or embarrassed. The findings suggest that teachers and parents may want to try different communication strategies than those they may now rely on, such as assuring boys that it’s safe to talk about problems, suggests Rose. Instead, adults could tell boys they might have a better chance at solving a problem if they talk it through or seek advice, for example. research suggests that boys talk to friends about problems less than girls do. Boys might be more amenable to these DeceMber 2011 • Monitor on psychology 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - December 2011

Monitor on Psychology - December 2011
President’s Column
From the CEO
Willpower Pioneer Wins $100,000 Grawemeyer Prize
Single-Sex Schooling Called Into Question by Prominent Researchers
Maternal Depression Stunts Childhood Growth, Research Suggests
For Boys, Sharing May Seem Like a Waste of Time
Good News for Postdoc Applicants
In Brief
Treatment Guideline Development Now Under Way
Government Relations Update
Psychologist Named Va Mental Health Chief
The Limits of Eyewitness Testimony
Judicial Notebook
Random Sample
Time Capsule
Deconstructing Suicide
A Focus on Interdisciplinarity
A Time of ‘Enormous Change’
The Science Behind Team Science
Good Science Requires Good Conflict
A New Paradigm of Care
Speaking of Education
Science Directions
New Labels, New Attitudes?
Psychologist Profile
Early Career Psychology
Unintended Consequences
Better Options for Troubled Teens
Saving Lives, One Organ at a Time
New Journal Editors
APA News
Division Spotlight
Guidelines for the Conduct of President-Elect Nominations and Elections
American Psychological Foundation

Monitor on Psychology - December 2011