A new study has it that competing to win can be damaging to girls' social relationships and can even lead to severe depression.
Dr. David Hibbard from California State University and Dr. Duane Buhrmester from the University of Texas, US, focussed on two types of competitiveness - to win and to excel, in their study.
The results showed that for girls, competing to win was linked to higher levels of depression and loneliness and to fewer and less close friendships. But competing to excel was linked to higher self-esteem and less depression for both genders.
The authors conclude, "The view that competitiveness is the road to emotional well-being is supported to the extent that one is talking about competing to improve oneself or excel.
"On the other hand, if one is talking about competing to win or show dominance over others, then females seem to pay a socio-emotional price."
Their findings are published in Springer's journal Sex Roles.