The Role of Sex of Peers and Gender-Typed Activities in Young Children's Peer Affiliative Networks: A Longitudinal Analysis of Selection and Influence

Carol Martin, Olga Kornienko, David R. Schaefer, Laura Hanish, Richard Fabes, Priscilla Goble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

A stochastic actor-based model was used to investigate the origins of sex segregation by examining how similarity in sex of peers and time spent in gender-typed activities affected affiliation network selection and how peers influenced children's (N = 292; Mage = 4.3 years) activity involvement. Gender had powerful effects on interactions through direct and indirect pathways. Children selected playmates of the same sex and with similar levels of gender-typed activities. Selection based on gender-typed activities partially mediated selection based on sex of peers. Children influenced one another's engagement in gender-typed activities. When mechanisms producing sex segregation were compared, the largest contributor was selection based on sex of peers; less was due to activity-based selection and peer influence. Implications for sex segregation and gender development are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-937
Number of pages17
JournalChild development
Volume84
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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