Prof. Gurung talks girls and anxiety with Deseret News
“When stressed, many girls cry and try harder to please, while boys often act out or give up, the In fact, for decades, ‘fight or flight’ was the predominant stress response theory,” reports the Deseret News. “However, in the late ’90s, Dr. Shelley Taylor and her team of UCLA researchers discovered that females have an extra stress response — “tend and befriend,” says UW-Green Bay Prof. Regan Gurung Psychology and Human Development), and a postdoctoral student in Taylor’s lab at the time. “This additional stress response proved more compatible with women’s historical responsibilities; primarily caregivers, they couldn’t abandon a baby when overwhelmed. Instead, they cared for children and sought support from surrounding women, says Gurung, activities that produce oxytocin to calm mother, baby and friend. This theory doesn’t mean women will never fight, flee or freeze, says Gurung, but it explains why women under stress may seek out female companionship.” Learn more from Gurung and other researchers.