Are adolescents at greater risk for jealous feelings?

Adolescents who experience extreme loneliness and low self-esteem tend to be concerned that their friendships are threatened by others. This can cause jealousy that can result in aggressive behavior.

The researchers found that intimacy experienced through friendship begets vulnerability, which can result in jealousy and aggression.

The study involved 500 fifth-through ninth-grade students who were evaluated to assess these vulnerabilities.

The questions sought to find out the level of jealousy which resulted in hypothetical situations, such as if their best friend went with someone else to go shopping. The survey also probed peers about their perceived opinions of jealous behavior exhibited by others. The study concluded there is a link between self-esteem and jealousy, with students having a lower self-worth being more likely to become jealous.

Jealous adolescents in the study also were more likely to become passively or physically aggressive.

The study also reaffirmed current beliefs that females are more likely to get jealous than males. The researchers conducting the study attributed this assertion to the idea that girls tend to have higher standards of kindness, empathy, loyalty and commitment than boys, prompting them to become more jealous than boys when these standard are not achieved.

Negative behavior that results from jealousy is motivated by a fear of losing friendships, so, while the behavior is destructive, it is nonetheless an attempt to protect the friendship.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.