ERIC Number: ED150646
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Developmental Trends in the Sex Differences of Proxemic Behavior.
Nelson, Audrey A.
In order to investigate developmental trends in the sex differences of two dimensions of proxemic behavior, distance and shoulder orientation, 406 elementary and junior high school students were studied while interacting in same-sex and heterosexual pairs. After engaging in discussion for one minute, the pairs were asked to stop and hold still while the physical distance between them was measured and the angle of shoulder orientation recorded. The findings revealed that: (1) Older children maintained greater distances than younger children (adult standards in distance behavior seem to emerge after age 12); (2) No consistent pattern of sex differences between the female/female and the male/male dyads emerged until the sixth and seventh grades, and heterosexual dyads employed greater distances than same-sex dyads; and (3) No consistent development in shoulder orientation in same-sex and heterosexual dyads was observed, but heterosexual dyads did maintain a less direct shoulder orientation than same-sex dyads. These findings provide partial support for the adult model of distance and shoulder orientation behavior, but further research is needed to determine the ages at which various aspects of the adult standards emerge. (CC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Speech Communication Association (Phoenix, Arizona, November 1977) ; Document may not reproduce clearly due to print quality