ERIC Number: EJ818713
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 74
Investigating Preschoolers' Categorical Thinking about Gender through Imitation, Attention, and the Use of Self-Categories
Grace, Diana M.; David, Barbara J.; Ryan, Michelle K.
Child Development, v79 n6 p1928-1941 Nov-Dec 2008
Whereas traditional theories of gender development have focused on individualistic paths, recent analyses have argued for a more social categorical approach to children's understanding of gender. Using a modeling paradigm based on K. Bussey and A. Bandura (1984), 3 experiments (N = 62, N = 32, and N = 64) examined preschoolers' (M age = 52.9 months) imitation of, and memory for, behaviors of same-sex and opposite-sex children and adults. In all experiments, children's imitation of models varied according to the emphasis given to the particular category of models, despite equal attention being paid to both categories. It is suggested that the categorical nature of gender, or age, informs children's choice of imitative behaviors.
Descriptors: Gender Differences, Imitation, Attention, Classification, Sexual Identity, Preschool Children, Memory, Models, Age, Child Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A