|(QMI Agency file photo)
The emotional rollercoaster many couples go through in a relationship affects young men more than their female counterparts, a new study says.
In the study of more than 1,000 unmarried young adults between the ages of 18 and 23, sociology professor Robin Simon from Wake Forest University in North Carolina says while men will try to present a tough face when they're unhappy about something in their relationship, they're more likely to be emotionally affected by it than young women in the same age range.
Simon said a possible explanation for the findings could be that for young men, their romantic partners are often their primary source of intimacy, whereas young women are more likely to have close relationships with family and friends.
For the study, Simon and associate professor of sociology at Florida State University Anne Barrett analyzed data from a large sample of young adult men and women in south Florida. The survey data was originally gathered for a long-term study of mental health and the transition to adulthood. The research is published in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
Simon said men and women express emotional distress in their relationships in different ways.
"Women express emotional distress with depression while men express emotional distress with substance problems," Simon said.
She said that while young men are more affected emotionally by the quality of their current relationships, young women are more emotionally affected by whether they are in a relationship or not. That's why young women are more likely to experience depression when the relationship ends or benefit more by simply being in a relationship.