ERIC Number: ED386331
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Supporting Girls in Early Adolescence. ERIC Digest.
Results of national studies suggest that for girls, the middle grades can be a time of significant decline in self-esteem and academic achievement. Reasons for this decline are not clearly indicated by research, but it is likely that multiple factors are involved. One factor is the preferential treatment boys receive in the classroom. Out-of-school factors include girls' observations about the different status of men and women in society. A third factor relates to cultural differences in sex role socialization. Researchers have observed other consequences associated with a general loss of self-esteem in preadolescent girls. For example, compared to boys, adolescent girls experience greater stress, are twice as likely to be depressed, and are four times as likely to attempt suicide. Girls' depression has been found to be linked to negative feelings about their bodies and appearance. In order to support and encourage preadolescent girls, parents can: (1) begin early to nurture freedom from stereotyped expectations; (2) inquire regularly about their daughters' participation in school; (3) listen to their daughters' questions and complaints about peers, siblings, and adults; and (4) be aware that girls receive conflicting messages about their worth and place in our culture. Likewise, teachers can find ways to develop gender-fair curricula; encourage girls to enroll and participate in all academic courses; and deal directly with issues of gender. School administrators can develop and enforce policies against gender-related harassment and can ensure that school programs offer equal opportunities to boys and girls. (BC)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.