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ERIC Number: ED406061
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Preschool Children's Collaborative Problem-Solving Interactions: Influence of Task, Partner Gender, and Conversational Style.
Holmes, Heather A.
This study examined the relationship between children's gender-typed conversational styles and joint problem-solving performance. Sixty preschool children between 4 and 5 1/2 years completed three problems with a same-sex or opposite-sex peer. Two structured tasks, copying a Tinkertoy model and stringing beads; and one unstructured task, building a Tinkertoy structure of their own design, were videotaped. Children's conversations were analyzed for gender-typed language content, including aggressive and mitigated speech. Behavioral measures included children's success or failure for selection and placement of task pieces, behavior involving materials, and overall success. Findings indicated that there were no pair type or task differences in problem-solving success. Girls used mitigation more than boys but there were no differences in aggressive speech. Mixed-sex dyads used a masculine, aggressive conversation style more than same-sex dyads. Children used more mitigation and less indecision on the bead task than on other tasks. There were differences in verbal and behavioral measures associated with success on each task. Giving reasons on the model-copying task was associated with more correct selections for female pairs, but with worse overall performance for male pairs. Miscellaneous talk on the model-copying task was associated with correct selections for female pairs but with incorrect selections and placements for mixed-sex pairs. Mitigated speech on the model-copying task was negatively correlated with overall performance for mixed-sex pairs. For the bead task, performance for male pairs was negatively related to aggressive talk. For the open-ended Tinkertoy task, aggressive and mitigated speech was related to selections or placements for mixed-sex dyads. (Contains 27 references.) (KDFB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A