Matching Items (14)

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Gendered interactions and their interpersonal and academic consequences: a dynamical perspective

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In response to the recent publication and media coverage of several books that support educating boys and girls separately, more public schools in the United States are beginning to offer

In response to the recent publication and media coverage of several books that support educating boys and girls separately, more public schools in the United States are beginning to offer same-sex schooling options. Indeed, students may be more comfortable interacting solely with same-sex peers, as boys and girls often have difficulty in their interactions with each other; however, given that boys and girls often interact beyond the classroom, researchers must discover why boys and girls suffer difficult other-sex interactions and determine what can be done to improve them. We present two studies aimed at examining such processes. Both studies were conducted from a dynamical systems perspective that highlights the role of variability in dyadic social interactions to capture temporal changes in interpersonal coordination. The first focused on the utility of applying dynamics to the study of same- and mixed-sex interactions and examined the relation of the quality of those interactions to participants' perceptions of their interaction partners. The second study was an extension of the first, examining how dynamical dyadic coordination affected students' self-perceived abilities and beliefs in science, with the intention of examining social predictors of girls' and women's under-representation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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The correlates and consequences of tomboyism: an exploration of gender-related characteristics, peer interactions, and psychosocial adjustment

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The study of tomboys offers useful insights for the field of gender development. Tomboys have been the focus of several studies aimed at defining what a tomboy is (Bailey, Bechtold,

The study of tomboys offers useful insights for the field of gender development. Tomboys have been the focus of several studies aimed at defining what a tomboy is (Bailey, Bechtold, & Berenbaum, 2002; Plumb & Cowan, 1984; Williams, Goodman, & Green, 1985) and what it means for children and adults who are tomboys (Morgan, 1998; Williams et al., 1985). These and further questions necessitate understanding the correlates and consequences for children exhibiting tomboy behaviors. This study aims to address these gaps in the literature as part of a longitudinal study assessing children's gendered attitudes, relationships, and beliefs. A group of 4th grade girls (N=98), were administered questionnaires asking them about their tomboy gender identity and related behaviors and beliefs. The first research question concerns how we identify tomboys through parent, teacher, and child self-report, and the application of groupings of tomboys as never, sometimes, and always tomboys. It was found that children who fall into different classifications of tomboyism differ on their similarity to own- and other-sex peers on a number of dimensions (e.g. similarity, peer preference, activity preference). Never tomboys had the most similarity and interest to own-sex peers, always tomboys, to other-sex peers, and sometimes tomboys exhibited the most flexibility with interest similar to both own- and other-sex peers. Peer-related adjustment consequences and experiences were considered for the different groups of tomboys, with always tomboys being the most efficacious with other-sex peers, never tomboys being the most efficacious with own-sex peers, and sometimes tomboys showing both own- and other-sex peer interactions and the least exclusion of any group.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Aggression, victimization, and social prominence in early adolescent girls and boys

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Although aggression is sometimes thought to be maladaptive, evolutionary theories of resource control and dominance posit that aggression may be used to gain and maintain high social prominence within the

Although aggression is sometimes thought to be maladaptive, evolutionary theories of resource control and dominance posit that aggression may be used to gain and maintain high social prominence within the peer group. The success of using aggression to increase social prominence may depend on the form of aggression used (relational versus physical), the gender of the aggressor, and the prominence of the victim. Thus, the current study examined the associations between aggression and victimization and social prominence. In addition, the current study extended previous research by examining multiple forms of aggression and victimization and conceptualizing and measuring social prominence using social network analysis. Participants were 339 6th grade students from ethnically diverse backgrounds (50.4% girls). Participants completed a peer nomination measure assessing relational and physical aggression and victimization. They also nominated friends within their grade, which were used to calculate three indices of social prominence, using social network analysis. As expected, results indicated that relational aggression was associated with higher social prominence, particularly for girls, whereas physical aggression was less robustly associated with social prominence. Results for victimization were less clear, but suggested that, for girls, those at mid-levels of social prominence were most highly victimized. For boys, results indicated that those both high and low in prominence were most highly relationally victimized, and those at mid-levels of prominence were most highly physically victimized. These findings help inform intervention work focused on decreasing overall levels of aggressive behavior.

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  • 2013

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An exploration of environmental influences on elementary school attainment in rural Guatemala

Description

Increasing elementary school attainment globally remains a key focus for improving internationally child development (UNESCO, 2010), and for girls in particular (UNICEF, 2015). This dissertation was designed to test and

Increasing elementary school attainment globally remains a key focus for improving internationally child development (UNESCO, 2010), and for girls in particular (UNICEF, 2015). This dissertation was designed to test and explore specific areas to target to improve educational attainment for rural indigenous communities using a mixed-methods approach (i.e., quantitative survey of 264 mothers and qualitative interviews with 37 of those mothers 3.5 years later) with a Mayan community in Camanchaj, Guatemala. The first study was designed to examine the educational trajectories available to children in this community (e.g., dropping out, graduating 6th grade) by age, grade, and gender, and identified risks and vulnerabilities for educational attainment. The second study was a logistic regression to examine maternal factors that predict the likelihood of a child graduating from elementary school or dropping out in this community, above and beyond covariates of poverty and health and found that maternal education predicted educational attainment for both boys as girls as well as maternal beliefs about the importance of school for getting a job, which was particularly strong predictor for boys. The third study probed findings from Studies 1 and 2 using Experiential Thematic Analyses and Frequency Analyses to examine processes and cognitions involved in a child’s graduating elementary school, dropping out, and community beliefs and attitudes regarding education and gender equality. Findings highlight the need for interventions that are contextually and culturally appropriate and that consider complex and interacting factors of poverty, health, and gender inequality as well as maternal and community-level attitudes and beliefs to promote elementary school attainment globally.

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  • 2016

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How gender typicality moderates the relation between preadolescents' empathy and acceptance by peers

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Previous research has shown that highly empathic children are generally more emotionally positive, sociable, and altruistic compared to their less empathic peers (Miller & Jansen op de Haar, 1997). These

Previous research has shown that highly empathic children are generally more emotionally positive, sociable, and altruistic compared to their less empathic peers (Miller & Jansen op de Haar, 1997). These traits and behaviors linked with empathy have been associated with positive outcomes such as popularity in the peer group (Decovic & Gerris, 1994). However, a negative relation between these constructs has been found when studied in the context of preadolescence for boys (Oberle, Schonert-Reichl, & Thomson, 2010), suggesting a potential moderating effect of gender typicality since empathy is classified as a communal and therefore stereotypically feminine trait. The current study examines the relation between the constructs of gender, empathy, gender typicality, and peer acceptance in a preadolescent sample, and mixed findings suggest differential effects of empathy on peer acceptance for preadolescent boys and girls. Future research should continue examining these differential effects for boys and girls throughout childhood and adolescence.

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  • 2015

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Masculinity and school engagement in middle school

Description

The primary goal of this study was to extend previous research on traditional masculinity by examining the longitudinal associations between traditional masculinity, school engagement and attitudes toward school in a

The primary goal of this study was to extend previous research on traditional masculinity by examining the longitudinal associations between traditional masculinity, school engagement and attitudes toward school in a sample of middle school students. Following a sample of 338 (Mage = , SDage = , 54% male, 46% Latino) students from the 7th to 8th grades, I examined how students' self-reported endorsement of and adherence to physical toughness and emotional stoicism norms of masculinity were associated with their engagement with school and their attitudes of school liking and school avoidance. I also examined whether the endorsement and adherence to these norms varied by sex and ethnicity, and whether they changed over the one-year period. Results indicated that endorsing and adhering to masculinity norms of emotional stoicism were negatively associated with school engagement, after controlling for school engagement at Time 1. Furthermore, endorsing and adhering to masculinity norms of physical toughness were negatively associated with attitudes of school liking even when controlling for school liking at Time 1. These results were the same boys and girls, and for Latino and White adolescents. Moreover, results indicated sex, but no ethnicity differences in traditional masculinity, such that males generally reported higher levels of endorsement and adherence to norms of physical toughness and emotional stoicism. There were also identifiable developmental patterns in traditional masculinity over a one-year period. The contributions of these findings to the current scholarship on masculinity, along with their implications for future research and practice, are discussed.

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  • 2015

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Preadolescents' gender typicality: an exploration of multidimensionality

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The goal of this study was to explore the multidimensionality of gender typicality and its relation to preadolescents’ psychological adjustment. With a sample of 378 6th grade students (52%

The goal of this study was to explore the multidimensionality of gender typicality and its relation to preadolescents’ psychological adjustment. With a sample of 378 6th grade students (52% male; M age = 11.44, SD = .56; 48% White), I examined how four specific dimensions of gender typicality (behavior, appearance, activities, and peer preference) predict children’s global sense of typicality; whether children’s global sense of gender typicality, behavior, appearance, activities, and peer preference are differentially predictive of self-esteem, social preference, and relationship efficacy; and whether examining typicality of the other gender is important to add to own-gender typicality. Regression analyses indicated that all four specific typicality dimensions contributed to preadolescents’ overall sense of own- and other-gender typicality (except appearance for own-gender typicality). Generally, all domains of gender typicality were related to the four adjustment outcomes. Own-gender typicality related more strongly to self-esteem, social preference, and own-gender relationship efficacy than did other-gender typicality; other-gender typicality was more strongly related to other-gender relationship efficacy. Relations between typicality and adjustment were stronger for gender-based relationship efficacy than for self-esteem or social preference. Although some differences existed, relations between typicality and adjustment were generally similar across typicality domains. Results implicate the need to measure other-gender typicality in addition to own-gender typicality. Additional contributions and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Exploring developmental patterns and predictors of gender-based relationship efficacy

Description

Segregation into own-gender peer groups, a common developmental pattern, has many potentially negative short- and long-term consequences. Understanding the social cognitive processes underlying intergroup processes may lead to a better

Segregation into own-gender peer groups, a common developmental pattern, has many potentially negative short- and long-term consequences. Understanding the social cognitive processes underlying intergroup processes may lead to a better understanding of, and a chance to improve, intergroup relations between boys and girls; however, until recently gender-typed cognitions have not received a lot of attention. Therefore, in two complementary studies, this dissertation examines developmental patterns and predictors of a particular type of social cognition, gender-based relationship efficacy (GBRE). The first study examines mean-level and interindividual stability patterns of GBRE longitudinally in two developmental periods: childhood and pre-adolescence. Specifically, the first study examined children’s and pre-adolescents’ GBRE toward own- (GBRE-Own) and other-gender (GBRE-Other) peers over a one-year period. Using a four factor repeated measures analysis of variance, the results indicated that GBRE-Own is significantly higher than GBRE-Other across both cohorts. GBRE-Other, however, increased from childhood to pre-adolescence. Stability and cross-lag effects were examined using a multi-group panel analysis and revealed that GBRE-Own and GBRE-Other were stable. Additionally, high levels of GBRE-Own led to lower levels of GBRE-Other one year later, but high levels of GBRE-Other led to higher levels of GBRE-Own. Implications for understanding segregation processes and suggestions for future research are discussed.

The second study examined potential affective/cognitive, behavioral, and contextual predictors of GBRE-Other in pre-adolescence. Several hypotheses were tested using panel models and regression analyses, but there was limited support. Results indicated that GBRE-Other predicted more positive attitudes toward other-gender peers and higher preferences for other-gender peer interaction and that, for boys, anxious attitudes toward other-gender peers negatively predicted GBRE-Other and, for girls, parental attitudes toward their children’s other-gender friendships negatively predicted GBRE-Other. The lack of significant findings in the second study should be interpreted cautiously. In general, GBRE is an important construct and more research is needed to fully understand the developmental progression and implications.

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  • 2017

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A relational perspective on aggression: the role of friends, victims, and unfamiliar peers in the use of aggressive behavior

Description

Aggression is inherently social. Evolutionary theories, for instance, suggest that the peer group within which an aggressor is embedded is of central importance to the use of aggression. However, there

Aggression is inherently social. Evolutionary theories, for instance, suggest that the peer group within which an aggressor is embedded is of central importance to the use of aggression. However, there is disagreement in the field with regard to understanding precisely how aggression and peer relationships should relate. As such, in a series of three empirical studies, my dissertation takes a relational approach and addresses some of the inconsistencies present in the extant literature. In Study 1, I examined how qualities of youth's close friendships contributed to the use of aggression, both concurrently and over time. I found that youth with large friendship networks were more aggressive, whereas those with highly interconnected friendship network decreased in aggression over time. Using a dyadic mediation model, the second study considered the precursors to aggressors' friendships with peers. Specifically, I explored aggressive youth's interactions with unfamiliar peers and assessed how the interactions that unfold affected the quality of the relationship. I found that dyads who were highly discrepant in their tendencies toward aggression failed to collaborate well with one another, and this led to less positive perceptions of one another. Whereas the first two studies concerned aggressors' relationships with their friends (Study 1) and acquaintances (Study 2), Study 3 focused on a different type of relationship – the relationship between an aggressor and his or her victim(s). In the third study, I explored how power dynamics operate within an aggressor-victim dyad and assessed whether differences in the balance of power between the aggressor and victim affected the strength of their relationship. I found that more aggressor-victim dyads were characterized by a relative balance than imbalance in power, and that power balanced dyads had stronger and more sustained aggressor-victim relationships. By taking a relational approach to the study of aggression, this dissertation has advanced extant work in the field. That is, these findings move away from the simplification and aggregation of relational constructs (e.g., relationships, friendships), and instead consider the nuances of specific types of relationships or interactions with specific peers, allowing for a better understanding of the relational nature of aggression.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Examining Child-Centered and Direct Instruction Approaches to Early Education

Description

The majority of early education programs today use a mix of child-centered and direct instruction approaches. Existing research comparing educational approaches is limited in the degree to which it can

The majority of early education programs today use a mix of child-centered and direct instruction approaches. Existing research comparing educational approaches is limited in the degree to which it can inform practice in mixed-method classrooms (i.e., classrooms using both child-centered and direct instruction approaches). The current dissertation extended previous research examining child-centered and direct instruction approaches to early education in two studies. The first study explored how free play and guided play differ from one another. The second study examined how time spent in free play, guided play, and direct instruction in the fall related to children's school readiness in the spring. Both studies were conducted using mixed-method Head Start classrooms. Participants were preschool children (Study 1 n = 284, Study 2 n = 283; M age = 52 months, 48% girls, 70% Mexican or Mexican-American) from lower socioeconomic status families. Observational data were utilized to assess children's time spent in free play and guided play and experiences with activities and peers in each context. Children's academic, affective, and social readiness were assessed through child interviews and teacher reports. The results provided little evidence to support the hypotheses or the popularly held belief that guided play is the most beneficial context for learning and development in early education programs. Findings were discussed in terms of the strengths and limitations of the studies and directions for future research. Importantly, recommendations for policy and practice were provided.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014