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London talk

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Dawn England

on 14 July 2016

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Transcript of London talk

Dawn England
Presented at Royal Holloway

Sanford Harmony Program

Influences of gender development
on peer interactions:
An exploration from Kindergarten to College

An in-school intervention designed to promote positive interactions between boys and girls

From preschool thru 6th grade

Engage parents, teachers, and students in activities that promote the understanding of gender stereotypes and healthy peer relationships

Built on a strong research program that occurs simultaneously
The Sanford Harmony Program
The CARE Study
CARE Longitudinal Study
Basic research on children's gender-related attitudes, relationships, and beliefs
How these affect interpersonal and social adjustment
Focus on own-sex and other-sex peers

2 year longitudinal study
- Kindergarten, 2nd, 4th grade (N=200 each)
- 1st, 3rd, 5th grade (N=150 each)

Child, parent, and teacher report

45 minute interview guided questionnaire
Research Themes
Gender atypicality
Peer-related psychosocial adjustment outcomes
The Intervention
The CARE Projects
Study 1: Tomboys
Study 2: Felt Pressure
Study 3: Relationship Efficacy
Examine longitudinal changes K-5th grade

Mediation, moderation, cross-lag path analysis models examining relationships between typicality, felt pressure, and psychosocial adjustment outcomes

CARE College Study Colombia Peer Study
Future Directions
Internalized gender norms and pressures
The Correlates and Consequences of Tomboys:
An exploration of Gender-related characteristics and peer interactions
Measurement of tomboys:
The use of child and parent report in recruiting tomboyism is justified
Support for the classification groups of never, sometimes, always TBs.

Evidence for differences in the gendered characteristics between 3 groups

Future research should examine these longitudinally for stability or change throughout development

Our findings are consistent with both adjustment perspectives:
Flexibility seems beneficial and sometimes tomboys appear to be the most flexible and experience positive outcomes.
Extreme tomboyism is linked to cross-sex characteristics and exclusion.
Tomboys might have the ability to behave in both masculine and feminine ways

Benefits of flexibility (Bem, 1974; DiDonato et. al., 2012; Martin & Dinella, 2011)

Girls who are sometimes tomboys may be the most flexible in peer interactions
Never tomboys are more consistently own-sex focused
Always tomboys are more consistently other-sex focused
Sometimes tomboys are own- and other-sex focused

Sometimes tomboys protected: similar to never tomboys in some own- and other-sex DVs and similar to always tomboys in others.

Exclusion: Always tomboys excluded the most
Sometimes tomboys excluded the least
Parents were more congruent with their girls when the girls were not tomboys and least congruent when the girls were always tomboys.

Parents and teachers downplayed tomboyism

Accurate parent report requires the “sometimes TB” option

When parents select “always TB” children recruited self-identify as 80% always TB and 20% sometimes TB
more extreme tomboys recruited, N=8

When parents select “sometimes TB”, children recruited self-identify as 40% sometimes and 46% always, N=45
1. Are parents or teachers a more accurate reporter of tomboyism as compared to the child’s report? Are they sensitive to “sometimes” category?

2. Are there differences in gendered characteristics and group relations with own-and other-sex children among “never tomboys”, “sometimes”, and “yes” tomboys?
Research Questions
Tomboys have been the focus of several studies:

What a tomboy is (Bailey, Bechtold, Plumb Williams, Goodman, & Green, 1985)
The consequences and outcomes for children and adults who are tomboys (Morgan, 1998; Williams et. al., 1985)

Competing literatures:

Negative outcomes may be experienced for extreme tomboyism (Egan Zucker & Bradley, 1995)
Gender atypicality and tomboyism is protective, beneficial, and promotes positive peer interactions with both own- and other-sex children (Bem, 1974; Martin & Ruble, 2010).
Do parent, teacher, and child report match for tomboy ID?
Are parents or teachers more accurate?

Parent report:
χ2(4)=19.09, p=.001, complete agreement 47.2%

Teacher report:
χ2(4)=18.39, p=.001, complete agreement 35.9%
Repeated Measures ANOVA

Repeated measures: children are asked the same question within child about boys and then girls, can contrast own- and other-sex
MANOVAs done when dependent variables were related
Planned comparisons following significant simple effects

Between-subjects factor: 3 level
Tomboy category (never, sometimes, always)

Within-subjects factor: 2 level
Similarity with own- and other-sex peers

Dimensions of similarity considered:
Similarity, closeness, acts like, looks like, activities, peer preferences
Felt similarity to own and other-sex group
Global similarity: “how similar do you feel to girls/boys?”
Dimensions: appearance (“look like), behavior (“act like”, activity preference, friendship preference

Perceived closeness to own-and other-sex group
Tomboy Gender Characteristics
and Group Relations
N=91 4th grade girls, 8 public schools
Age 9.05 years (SD = .502, range 7-10 yrs)
Relatively ethnically diverse (51% White)
Middle to high SES (some college, $50-70,000)

Parent: tomboy ID

Teacher: tomboy ID
peer-related adjustment

Child: tomboy ID
gender-related peer interactions
Never, Sometimes, Always Tomboys (Halim et al., 2011; Morgan, 1985)

What defines tomboys? Are there universal behaviors and outcomes?
(Bailey, Bechtold, Plumb Williams, Goodman, & Green, 1985)

Do tomboys show multidimensionality in their gendered expression? (Ruble, Martin & Berenmbaum, 2006)

Does gender atypicality promote or impede psychosocial adjustment? (Bem, 1974, Egan Thorne, 1993, Zucker & Bradley, 1995)
Do children who differ on tomboy group differ in felt similarity to own- and other-sex peers on a number of gendered dimensions?

There were significant interactions between tomboy type and DV of interest for all analyses
Support for measuring tomboy groups separately

All means were in the expected direction where as tomboyism increases: closeness/similarity to own-sex decreases
closeness/similarity to other-sex increases
Felt pressure is a construct exploring the gender norms children have internalized, and how much pressure they feel to adhere to these norms.

Pressure comes from various sources including parents, peers, and teachers.

(e.g., Egan & Perry, 2001)
3 felt pressure types (parents, peers, self)
5 age groups (11-15 years old)
2 gender groups (boys, girls)

Significant 3 way ANOVA interaction
Signicant 2 way interactions with planned comparisons and paired sample t test
Analyzed with ANOVA
An Examination of Felt Pressure in Adolescence
Felt pressure related to gender is significant and important in adolescence
Kids internalize these gender norms

Boys and girls may have differential outcomes

We expect this felt pressure to influence peer interactions and social adjustment outcomes
We expect felt pressure to differ based on gender typicality or how you view your gender compared to the gender norms you encounter
Scale created by the CARE team to assess felt pressure. (17 items)

For a boy respondent:
To fully understand relationship efficacy, it requires both own- and other-sex measurement as well as a measure of both similarity and closeness to peers.

Typologies of gender typicality are useful in predicting peer relationships.

The relation varies across early development.
There is an interesting developmental progression for cross-sex kids where RE-own and RE-other become more equal over time, whereas typical and androgynous kids have relatively stable levels developmentally (1st animation)

Androgynous kids (high in similarity to own and other-sex) have the highest or most beneficial values of the 2 possibilities for peer relationships (highest in other-sex RE from cross-sex kids and highest in own-sex RE from typical kids) (2nd animation)
2nd and 4th grade

There were significant differences between the typologies of children using felt similarity for both GRE-own and GRE-other


There was no difference in GRE-own depending on gender typology
There was a significant difference in GRE-other by gender typology, though the effect was less pronounced than in older ages.
Repeated Measures ANOVAs for each grade separately

Between-subjects factor: 4 level
Typologies: typical, androgynous, cross-sex, undifferentiated

Within-subjects factor: 2 level
Levels of RE-own and RE-other
Felt similarity to own and other-sex group
Global similarity: “how similar do you feel to girls/boys?”
Dimensions: appearance (“look like), behavior (“act like”, activity preference, friendship preference
Gender-Based Relationship Efficacy Questionnaire

Separately assesses relationships with own-sex and other-sex peers
Proximal social cognitive process that might explain children’s propensity to interact with own- vs. other-sex peers, highlighting the sense of belonging or group membership.
Relationship Efficacy
4 typologies of children based on gender typicality
high similarity to own-sex, low similarity to other
high similarity to own-sex, high similarity to other
low similarity to own-sex, high similarity to other
low similarity to own-sex, low similarity to other
Gender Typicality
This study considers developmental changes in felt gender typicality
K, 2nd, 4th grade

How typicality relates to gender-based relationship efficacy with own- and other-sex peers

Investigate typicality as felt similarity to both own- and other-sex peers
Examining multiple domains of gender expression
Gender Typicality
Children and young adolescents who are gender typical have more positive social relationships (Egan & Perry, 2001).

Relationships with both own-sex peers and other-sex peers have been linked to positive adjustment outcomes and are considered important (Fabes, Martin, Hanish 2003).

Gender-based Relationship Efficacy (Zosuls et al., 2012) is a construct developed to explore perceptions of a child’s ability to interact with own- and other-sex peers.

Gender-typed children and
their peer-related relationship efficacy

ISSBD 2012
1st wave of a two year longitudinal project assessing children’s gendered attitudes and beliefs
211 Kindergarteners (100 boys) 5.36 yrs (SD .53)
205 Second graders (102 boys) 7.16 yrs (SD .51)
205 Fourth graders (114 boys) 9.10 yrs (SD .66)

52% White, 18% Latino, 6% Asian, 5% Black, 4% Native American, 14% other or mixed race
Avg: Parents had some college, household income $50-75,000
CARE Study
A Little
Not Much
A Lot
Not at All
GRE-Q (2nd and 4th grade)
“How much do you understand girls/boys?”
...know how to have fun with, feel nervous around
Scale from 0 (not at all) to 4 (a lot)

Relationship Efficacy (Kindergarten)
“How do you feel about girls? Do you like them not at all, not much, a little, or a lot?”

(scale from Yee & Brown, 2004)
4th grade (Similarity)
2nd grade (Similarity)
Kindergarten (Similarity)

The CARE Team
Carol Lynn Martin, PhD
Kristina M. Zosuls, PhD
Naomi C.Z. Andrews
Ryan D. Field, MS
Olena Kopystynska
Adrienne Borders

Research Assistants, Interns, and the Research Team for the Lives of Girls and Boys Enterprise
Thank you

The CARE Project is funded as part of the Lives of Girls and Boys Enterprise
Additional support is provided for Dawn England through the
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow Program
Closeness to Peers
Scale Score Similarity
Similarity (single item)
Acts like
Looks like*(t)
Activity Preference
Peer Preference (t)

Similarity (single item)
Closeness to Peers
Scale Score Similarity
Similarity (single item)
Acts like
Looks like*
Activity Preference
Peer Preference
* Means not in expected direction
Closeness and Similarity to
Own-Sex Peers

Acts like
Closeness to Peers
Scale Score Similarity
Similarity (single item)
Acts like
Looks like
Activity Preference
Peer Preference
Closeness to Peers
Scale Score Similarity
Similarity (single item)
Acts like
Looks like
Activity Preference
Peer Preference
Closeness and Similarity to
Other-Sex Peers
A collaboration with Ben Hine and Patrick Leman

Funding provided by Royal Holloway
Sample Details
Total N = 998
Year 7 age 11.74 (.31) yrs. N = 125 48% male
Year 8 age 12.70 (.31) yrs. N = 185 48% male
Year 9 age 13.73 (.31) yrs. N = 230 54% male
Year 10 age 14.70 (.30) yrs. N = 236 53% male
Year 11 age 15.71 (.35) yrs. N = 222 53% male

Ethnicity: 92.4% British White
1.8% British White & Asian
1.4% Other White background

Intervention Testing
CARE Research Studies
CARE Longitudinal
CARE Early Adolescent
CARE College
CARE Colombia
RHUL Felt Pressure
Gender & Academic Achievement & Performance (GAAP)
Project Intersect (race & gender)
STAR (adolescents & academics)
Principal Study (single-sex schools)
Lives of Teens
Romantic Relationship Formation
Dating & Violence
Internalized sexualization of girls

CataLyST Project
Children Learning Science Together
Same-sex and mixed-sex dyads
Lab experiment examining peer interactions during a science learning task
Girls' in STEM
Children's Attitudes, Relationships, and Education
Gender, Peers, and Schools: An Online Training Program

Understanding School Success
5 year longitudinal study

How classroom based social relationships in preschool influence school readiness and adjustment
Project Teach
Teach-P (preschool)
Teach-C (classroom)

Teachers as agents of gender socialization in the classroom and how this influences students' stereotypes and academics
Sanford Harmony Program Intervention
How similar do you feel to other girls?
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