Rigidity in gender-typed behaviors in early childhood: A longitudinal study of ethnic minority children

May Ling Halim, Diane Ruble, Catherine Tamis-Lemonda, Patrick E. Shrout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A key prediction of cognitive theories of gender development concerns developmental trajectories in the relative strength or rigidity of gender typing. To examine these trajectories in early childhood, 229 children (African American, Mexican American, and Dominican American) were followed annually from age 3 to 5 years, and gender-stereotypical appearance, dress-up play, toy play, and sex segregation were examined. High gender-typing was found across ethnic groups, and most behaviors increased in rigidity, especially from age 3 to 4 years. In addressing controversy surrounding the stability and structure of gender-typing it was found that from year to year, most behaviors showed moderately stable individual differences. Behaviors were uncorrelated within age but showed more concordance in change across time, suggesting that aspects of gender-typing are multidimensional, but still show coherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1269-1284
Number of pages16
JournalChild development
Volume84
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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