ERIC Number: ED253498
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Children's Game Complexity as a Predictor of Later Perceived Self Competence and Occupational Interest.
Borman, Kathryn M.; Kurdek, Lawrence A.
The major purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between play complexity, occupational preference, and perceived self-competence. A second focus was to examine these variables in terms of age, gender, and socioeconomic status (SES). Two age groups (200 third graders and 206 sixth graders) participated in the initial part of the study. Two years later, 174 students from the original sample were further classified according to gender and SES. In order to assess game complexity, a playground log was administered to collect information about activities pursued by each child. Activities were identified and assigned scores on seven dimensions derived from Lever's factor analysis of game complexity. In addition, scores from Harter's Perceived Self-Competence Scale for Children, a 16-scale interest inventory, and four occupational complexity scores were subjected to a multivariate analysis of variance. Findings indicate that (1) children who participated in games of greater complexity tended to see themselves later as more socially and physically competent and to prefer occupations which involved more complex interactions of data, people, and things: (2) a gender disparity found for both game complexity and occupational complexity suggests that greater exposure to complex games may give boys an advantage over girls in occupational settings that have structural features common to those games, and (3) although no SES differences in complexity of play were found, lower SES children appeared to be less discriminating and less differentiated in their occupational preferences and tended to see themselves as less socially and physically competent than middle SES children. (LH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (79th, San Antonio, TX, August 27-31, 1984).