• Crouter, Ann C. (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


A new generation of socialization research has begun to exploit the power
inherent in designs that compare and contrast the family experiences and
unfolding psychological development of siblings growing up in the "same
family." The proposed longitudinal study examines the familial conditions
underlying gender role socialization in middle childhood, as well as the
implications of these family roles, relationships, and activities for
children's sex-typed psychological characteristics and general
psychosocial functioning, from two distinct angles: (1) a "between family"
approach in which children are compared across families that vary in terms
of parents' gender roles and the sex composition of the sibling dyad; and
(2) a "within family" approach that emphasizes the differential
experiences of gender role socialization for two siblings in each family.
The sample includes 200 sibling pairs, evenly distributed across the four
possible gender composition groups (e.g., older brother, younger sister;
older brother, younger brother) and their parents. Older siblings
initially will be age 10; younger siblings age 8. Data will be collected
at 3 annual points of measurement such that at the third time point
younger siblings will be age 10, allowing us to compare siblings'
experiences: (1) at the same point in time (when siblings differ in age);
and (2) when siblings are at the same age (using data collected at two
different times). Data collection at each wave will involve: (1) home
interviews with mother, father, older and younger siblings about family
relationships, sex-typing, and psychosocial functioning (e.g., perceived
competence; school achievement); and (2) a series of 7 evening telephone
interviews with both siblings and parents (half with mother, half with
father; 5 week days, 2 weekend days) to gather data on specific activities
engaged in that day (e.g., participation in household chores; activities
with mother vs. father). Hypotheses regarding the connections between
family socialization experiences and children's sex-typing and
psychosocial adjustment are grounded in four theoretical perspectives:
social learning theory, a person-environment fit model, feminist theory,
and developmentalists 'notions about the non-shared family environment.
Effective start/end date8/15/947/31/95


  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development


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