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

8 Citations (Scopus)

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

Fingerprint

Social Adjustment
Mothers
Frustration
Temperament
Socialization
Individuality
Sexual Behavior
Fear
Names
Parents
Research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Cite this

@article{2941ca901bbf462386cbeeeaa4993a1c,
title = "Girls most of the time, boys some of the time: Gender differences in toddlers' use of maternal proximity and comfort seeking",
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.",
author = "Buss, {Kristin A.} and Brooker, {Rebecca J.} and Melanie Leuty",
year = "2008",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/15250000701779360",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "13",
pages = "1--29",
journal = "Infancy",
issn = "1525-0008",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "1",

}

Girls most of the time, boys some of the time : Gender differences in toddlers' use of maternal proximity and comfort seeking. / Buss, Kristin A.; Brooker, Rebecca J.; Leuty, Melanie.

In: Infancy, Vol. 13, No. 1, 01.01.2008, p. 1-29.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Girls most of the time, boys some of the time

T2 - Gender differences in toddlers' use of maternal proximity and comfort seeking

AU - Buss, Kristin A.

AU - Brooker, Rebecca J.

AU - Leuty, Melanie

PY - 2008/1/1

Y1 - 2008/1/1

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=41449106912&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=41449106912&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/15250000701779360

DO - 10.1080/15250000701779360

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:41449106912

VL - 13

SP - 1

EP - 29

JO - Infancy

JF - Infancy

SN - 1525-0008

IS - 1

ER -