The emotional closeness between mothers andtheir children was examined to determine if motherdaughter pairs exhibit closer emotional relationshipsthan mother son pairs. Forty-one mother childpredominantly Caucasian dyads were videotaped during asemistructured play setting. The children were 4 (10males and 10 females) and 5 years of age (10 males and11 females). Emotional closeness was defined as physical proximity, mutual eye contact, and global levelof enjoyment. Results demonstrated that compared toboys, girls were physically closer to their mothers,engaged in more mutual eye contact with their mothers, and were rated higher on global enjoyment.Results are consistent with Chodorow's theory thatgender identity development is related to the emotionalrelationships that develop between children and their mothers.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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