Girls most of the time, boys some of the time: Gender differences in toddlers' use of maternal proximity and comfort seeking

Kristin A. Buss, Rebecca J. Brooker, Melanie Leuty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

How children experience, express, and regulate distress has important implications for adjustment. Factors influencing individual differences in these aspects of affective behavior include temperament, context of situation, and parents, to name a few. Gender differences in the expression of affective behaviors have also been implicated in past research. However, differences are not always found, especially before preschool ages. This study examined the presence of gender differences and moderating influences of gender on the expression of distress and mother-oriented behaviors (e.g., comfort seeking and proximity to mother) in 24-month-old toddlers during a series of situations designed to elicit either fear or frustration. Girls were more likely to seek contact from mother and stay in closer proximity to her compared to boys even after controlling for distress. However, the association between distress and contact seeking or proximity was significant for boys but not for girls. The discussion focuses on implications for biological and socialization effects of sex-typed behavior and consequences for adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalInfancy
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Girls most of the time, boys some of the time: Gender differences in toddlers' use of maternal proximity and comfort seeking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this