Gender segregation in childhood

A test of the interaction style theory

Melissa Hoffmann, Kimberly K. Powlishta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The authors investigated the play/interaction-style theory of gender segregation with a sample of 39 children aged 2 to 5 years (primarily Caucasian). According to this theory, children prefer playmates with styles of play or interaction that are similar to their own. Because such styles are sex differentiated, same-sex playmate preference (i.e., gender segregation) results. The authors observed children during free play to determine preferred playmates and gender segregation level, and they used teacher ratings to derive play/interaction-style scores. The authors used a multiple regression approach to path analysis to analyze effects of sex of participant, participants' play/interaction-style scores, playmates' play/interaction-style scores, and degree of gender segregation to determine their effects on one another. The authors observed significant levels of gender segregation, with highly aggressive or active children displaying less segregation than their peers did. However, gender segregation was not associated with a preference for playmates with similar play or interaction styles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-313
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Volume162
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

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segregation
childhood
gender
interaction
teacher rating
path analysis
Caucasian
regression

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

Gender segregation in childhood : A test of the interaction style theory. / Hoffmann, Melissa; Powlishta, Kimberly K.

In: Journal of Genetic Psychology, Vol. 162, No. 3, 01.01.2001, p. 298-313.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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