Professor Rose, who carried out the study, found that the more girls talked about their problems the more depressed or anxious they felt. Rose first looked at whether depression or anxiety increased the likelihood that students would obsessively discuss their problems. She found that boys and girls with emotional difficulties were more likely to ruminate about their troubles. Rose examined the effect of rumination on students' emotional well-being and friendships. The boys reported no change in feelings of anxiety and depression, but girls were more likely to say that they felt worse. Rose said girls got caught up in a 'vicious cycle' in which depression or anxiety spurred rumination, which in turn led to increased depression or anxiety. For both boys and girls, talking about problems strengthened relationships, but for girls there was also an increased level of anxiety and depression.
These findings are in line with previous studies which have shown that support groups can reinforce eating disorders or delinquent behaviours. Talking about problems is a good thing, but too much rumination can be harmful for girls. To read this journal article click here