Gender differences in emotional responses to interpersonal stress during adolescence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A growing body of research confirms that girls experience higher levels of stress in their relationships with family and friends than do boys. Girls also have been found to perceive negative interpersonal events as more stressful than do boys and to experience more negative affect in the family and peer context. Moreover, some evidence suggests that these gender differences become more salient during adolescence. Results are inconsistent concerning gender differences in stress reactivity. Whereas some studies document a stronger link between interpersonal stress and emotional distress in girls than in boys, others reveal no gender difference. These inconsistencies likely result in part from the wide variability in the conceptualization and measurement of interpersonal stress. Future research will therefore need to involve more careful analysis of specific types of relationship problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Adolescence
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Emotional responses
  • Gender differences
  • Interpersonal sensitivity
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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