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Girls Encounter More Stress Than Boys

Teenage girls encounter more stress than boys, especially in their interpersonal relationships//, says a study.

Experts have known that by mid puberty (age 13 or so) more girls than boys experience depression. But the new study, reported by the online edition of Daily Mail, says girls experience more interpersonal stress and exhibit more depression symptoms than boys.

Benjamin L. Hankin, assistant professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina, and other researchers studied 538 8th and 10th grade students, aged 13 to 18 (average age: 14.9), from 18 Chicago area schools.

They asked the students to record their 'worst event' of the day in their diaries every day for a week, at three different time points -- the study launch, six months and 12 months later.

Besides describing this 'worst event', students were asked to mention what made it so bad and what they did in response. 'Worst events' included getting kicked out of school, failing a quiz, arguing with a parent, getting mad at a girlfriend or boyfriend and other problems.

The researchers later evaluated how stressful the events were and classified them as interpersonal (involving interaction between the teen and another person -- such as family, peer, or romantic partner) or achievement (involving academics or athletic performance).

Hankin's team also looked at the boys' and girls' depressive symptoms and their self-reported use of alcohol. The researchers found that girls had reacted more strongly to those pressures, accounting in part for their higher levels of depression than boys.

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