Sex role and self-concept in young children Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/v692t988m

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  • In the past, a major emphasis of child development research and theory building has been the study of acquisition of sex role learning. Today, an additional dimension is seen in the study of the effect of sex role stereotypy on self-concept. As a result of the research in this area, the thesis was developed that adherence to one's selection of sex roles--whether correct by society's standards or not--produces self-consistency, which in turn produces a higher self-concept. The purpose of this research was to ascertain whether there is a difference in sex role preference (i.e. adherence to sex role stereotypy) of children at selected ages, between sexes, and among socioeconomic strata. Another purpose is to examine the influence of self-consistency (i.e. sex role confirmation defined as adherence to self-identified sex roles) in determining the effect of sex role stereotypy on self-concept as a learner. Individual examinations using The Sex Role Learning Index to estimate sex role preference and sex role confirmation, and using The Self-Concept and Motivation Inventory to estimate self-concept were given to a sample of 36, four and five year old children. This sample of 36 children were selected at random from a stratified and classified population of seven group care facilities. To be included in the sample, the children fell into the average or bright range of intelligence as identified by The Slosson Intelligence Test. After administering both inventories in carefully controlled settings, the scores were subjected to two, three-way analyses of variance, two one-way analyses of variance, and two Pearson Product Moment Correlations with significance being set at the .05 level. Hypotheses. Ten null hypotheses were tested in the study: (1) there is no significant age effect; (2) there is no significant sex effect; (3) there is no significant socioeconomic effect; (4) there is no significant interaction between age and sex; (5) there is no significant interaction between age and socioeconomic status; (6) there is no significant interaction between sex and socioeconomic status; (7) there is no significant interaction between age, sex, and socioeconomic status; (8) there is no significant self-concept effect; (9) there is no significant relationship between self-concept and sex role preference; and (10) there is no significant relationship between self-concept and sex role confirmation. Results and Conclusions. All hypotheses were retained except Hypothesis Two, in which a significant difference did occur between male and female children, with the males adhering more to sex role stereotypy than the girls. In addition, further exploration, based on multiple linear regression analysis, produced a pattern which showed children that scored higher on sex role preference than sex role confirmation also scored higher in self-concept. One conclusion of the study was similar to those in the review of literature (i.e. boys adhere more to sex role stereotypy in everyday activities than girls). An additional conclusion was that self-consistency did not play a part in determining sex role learning's effect on self-concept at four and five years of age. Although the hypothesis regarding socioeconomic status was retained, the children in the study from the middle socioeconomic class tended to have more stereotypic responses than the low socioeconomic status children. Age and sex also tended to have a combined effect on sex role preference. The classic developmental stages of Erickson, Piaget, and Kohlberg appeared to provide a rational framework for understanding the effect of sex role learning on selfconcept in four and five year old children.
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