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How adolescent girls manage stress
Date:6/23/2009

Greater influence over everyday life, emotional support, and cultural and recreational activities help to enable teenage girls to withstand stress. Those were the results of a dissertation from the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Stress and worry amongst teenagers have increased markedly in recent years, especially amongst girls. According to recent statistics from the WHO, as many as seven out of ten teenage girls suffer from stress.

"We must gain a deeper understanding of, and acquire more knowledge about, the underlying social processes that trigger the daily stress experienced by teenage girls," says public health researcher Katarina Haraldsson, the author of the dissertation.

In-depth interviews with girls in upper secondary school reveal a complex picture of teenage girls often voluntarily taking responsibility for many different issues and situations that concern school, home and leisure.

"Many people believe that the stress experienced by upper secondary school girls relates only to school. However, the picture is far broader. Girls feel responsibility for various types of relationships, such as with friends and siblings, or have taken upon themselves leisure time commitments in various associations and organisations", says Katarina Haraldsson.

The dissertation shows that stress arises at the interface between responsibility and how one is encountered. A situation where a girl is not encountered with respect, for example, can lead to what was initially voluntarily accepted responsibility instead becoming perceived as something forced. The way people in a girl's surroundings encounter her is important not only in the context of each matter, but also for a girl's entire life situation.

There are several different sources of strength that the girls need to enable them to withstand the stress. These include having a greater say in one's own everyday life and getting emotional suppor
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Contact: Elin Lindstrom Claessen
elin.lindstrom@sahlgrenska.gu.se
46-317-863-869
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert

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