A new study finds that young girls and women are more likely to believe that negative past events predict future events, compared to boys and men. And that, according to researchers, may help explain why females have more frequent and intense worries, perceive more risk, have greater intolerance for uncertainty, and experience higher rates of anxiety than males. The findings, from studies conducted at the University of California, Davis, are published in the September/October 2007 issue of the journal Child Development.
In two studies involving 128 people, a researcher investigated 3- to 6-year-olds’ as well as adults’ knowledge that worry and preventative behaviors can be caused by thinking that a negative event from the past will or might reoccur in the future. The ability to explain emotions and behaviors in relation to past events is considered a fundamental part of adult social understanding that is important for processing past trauma, assessing risk, and making decisions.
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