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Study finds suppressing emotions can hurt

EUGENE, Ore., July 25 (UPI) -- Emotional suppression may cost college freshmen friendships, a co-author of a University of Oregon at Eugene study said Saturday.

"Hiding your emotions is something that is very common but it's something that often is not the right thing to do," Sanjay Srivastava said. "We're not saying never ever do this, but doing it may have negative effects in certain contexts, such as in transitioning into college."

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Srivastava, a professor of psychology, said in a press release from the university that suppressing emotions in a new or difficult situation is understandable and may be appropriate, but carrying it too far may result in difficulty trusting and being trusted by others.

The study looked at 278 college freshmen who filled out weekly diaries with data on support received from parents and friends, their closeness with others and social and academic satisfaction. When the term ended, the participants addressed the same topics and the researchers spoke to their friends to determine how they were faring during their first term.

"People who were hiding or masking their emotions were having more difficult times forming close, meaningful, supportive and satisfying relationships," Srivastava said.

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