Developmental Changes in the Link Between Gender Typicality and Peer Victimization and Exclusion

Kristina M. Zosuls, Naomi C Z Andrews, Carol Martin, Dawn E. England, Ryan D. Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study takes a broad and nuanced view of gender typicality in normative populations and suggests that this aspect of children’s gender identity might be a fundamental aspect of vulnerability to peer maltreatment. Using a cross-sectional sample from the Southwestern United States, developmental differences were examined in the relations between kindergarten (n = 210, Mage = 5.81, 52 % female), second (n = 205, Mage = 7.62, 50 % female), and fourth (n = 205, Mage = 9.56, 44 % female) grade students’ self-reported similarity to own- and other-gender peers and teacher-reported peer victimization and exclusion. Parents’ reports of children’s own- and other-gender friendships were also examined to test whether friendships would attenuate this relation. We hypothesized (a) lower gender typicality would be associated with higher victimization/exclusion for 2nd and 4th grade children and (b) friendships with own- and other-gender peers, but especially own-gender peers, would moderate the typicality and victimization/exclusion relation, acting as a buffer against victimization/exclusion. Supporting our hypotheses, results indicated developmental differences in the link between gender typicality and victimization/exclusion with a more consistent relation in 2nd and 4th grades. For girls, having other-gender friends moderated the negative relation of other-gender similarity and victimization/exclusion. Own-gender friendships were protective overall for both genders, and other-gender friendships were protective for 4th graders. Our study suggests that gender-related intolerance is a central issue to peer maltreatment and affects more than just those who exhibit the most extreme cases of gender nonconformity and that friendships can provide a buffer against victimization/exclusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalSex Roles
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 22 2016

Fingerprint

Crime Victims
victimization
exclusion
gender
friendship
maltreatment
Buffers
Southwestern United States
school grade
Interpersonal Relations
kindergarten

Keywords

  • Child development
  • Friendships
  • Gender identity
  • Gender typicality
  • Peer victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Gender Studies

Cite this

Developmental Changes in the Link Between Gender Typicality and Peer Victimization and Exclusion. / Zosuls, Kristina M.; Andrews, Naomi C Z; Martin, Carol; England, Dawn E.; Field, Ryan D.

In: Sex Roles, 22.03.2016, p. 1-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zosuls, Kristina M. ; Andrews, Naomi C Z ; Martin, Carol ; England, Dawn E. ; Field, Ryan D. / Developmental Changes in the Link Between Gender Typicality and Peer Victimization and Exclusion. In: Sex Roles. 2016 ; pp. 1-14.
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