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The Influence of Sex of Child on Parental Reactions to Toddler Children
Beverly I. Fagot
Vol. 49, No. 2 (Jun., 1978), pp. 459-465
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1128711
Page Count: 7
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Toddler children and their parents were observed in their homes using an observation checklist of 46 child behaviors and 19 reactions by parents. The parent behaviors were categorized as positive, negative, or neutral, and parental reactions to specific child behaviors were examined to determine if the sex of the child or the actual behavior influenced the type of parental reaction. It was found that parents reacted significantly more favorably to the child when the child was engaged in a same-sex-preferred behavior and were more likely to give negative responses to cross-sex-preferred behaviors. Parents gave girls more negative responses when engaged in active, large motor activities. They gave girls more positive responses when they engaged in adult-oriented, dependent behavior. No difference in parental reaction toward boys and girls was present for aggressive behavior. Parents' self-report data and the observation of parents reactions did not correlate highly.
Child Development © 1978 Society for Research in Child Development