The importance of fostering emotional diversity in boys



Indeed, a lack of fostering emotional diversity in youth may have long-term problematic consequences. As early as elementary school, the avoidance of strong emotions (besides anger) results in academic underperformance in boysPsychologists have found that children who deny emotional vulnerability are also more likely to become adolescents who engage in health-risk behaviors, such as substance use. Later in development, men suppress (i.e., do not openly express) their emotions more than women; and men, in turn experience greater depressive symptoms, and resort more often to physical violence. Scientists speculate that trouble regulating emotion may explain the link between restricted emotions and aggressive behavior towards others in men. This seems likely, given that the skills to regulate emotion are gained through practice, which boys may be less likely to have if they do not have permission to experience the full range of emotions.

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