ERIC Number: ED229150
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr-22
Reference Count: 0
Body Salience, Weight-Role Knowledge-Flexibility and Peer Affiliations between the Ages of Three and Eight Years.
Studies were made of (1) young children's use of body-weight type for processing information about peers, and (2) the development of children's stereotypical knowledge about characteristics associated with body-weight type. For the first study, a measure was developed to assess "body salience," or the degree to which children use weight type as a cue in a matching task. Results indicated that children as young as 3 and 4 establish weight type categories and are cognitively able to acquire information about weight roles. For the second study, an instrument was constructed to assess young children's knowledge and flexible use of weight roles. Responding to pictorial and verbal stimuli, subjects assigned each of 20 attributes (such as polite, quiet, and naughty) to boxes with silhouettes attached. Two boxes displayed either a silhouette of an overweight or a normal weight child; the third had both silhouettes. Subjects systematically attributed only negative traits to the overweight and only positive traits to the normal weight peers. As children grew older, their use of the category illustrated by both weight types increased. Additionally, subjects' affiliative preferences were indicated by having children choose between playing with a same-sex peer of preferred weight status and a same-sex peer of nonpreferred, overweight status who possessed an attractive prop. Significant sex differences were found in the development of affiliative preferences. Further, it was suggested that a relationship exists between attributions and preferences based on weight. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ministry of Education, Quebec (Canada).
Authoring Institution: Concordia Univ., Montreal (Quebec).
Identifiers: Canada (French Provinces); Cognitive Research
Note: Prepared by the Centre for Research in Human Development. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Detroit, MI, April 21-24, 1983).