Sex Roles, I/ol. 37, Nos. 9/10, 1997 Gender Differences in Internal and External Focusing Among Adolescents Sheena Sethi* Stanford University Susan Nolen-Hoeksema University of Michigan Of growing interest is the finding that in response to depressed mood, there are gender differences in cognition. Prior research has suggested that in response to depressed mood, females engage in more ruminative thoughts while males respond by engaging in thoughts designed to distract themselves. The following research report examines whether these gender differences in cognition exist even when males and females are not depressed. In this study, freely generated thought samples were obtained from an ethnically diverse, adolescent subject population. Findings from a content analysis of these thought samples showed that females' thought samples tend to be more internally focused and relation focused than males'. Males, by contrast, tend to be more externally focused than females. These gender differences were observed among African-American, Asian-American, Caucasian, and Hispanic subjects. While there is a growing body of research devoted to understanding the way gender differences in cognition are related to gender differences in depression, rarely has research attended to the question of whether the cognitions of males and females differ even in the absence of
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 2, 2008
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