The present study was designed to examine whether parents’ views of their child’s academic competencies are structured by gendered conceptions of abilities. In a longitudinal research design, a group of parents (N = 391) were asked to assess their third-grade child’s competence in mathematics and Finnish and to respond to a set of attitude statements; when the child reached the fifth grade, the parents were asked to reassess his/her competencies. It was found that the influence of the gender stereotype was partly domain-specific: The stereotype concerning Finnish organized the parental competence assessments as early as the child’s third grade and also predicted the assessments made about the child over the next two grades, whereas the stereotype concerning mathematics only predicted the assessments made as late as the fifth grade. In the Finnish competence assessments, the gender stereotype moderated the overall gender-of-the-child effect, whereas in the mathematics competence assessments, the gender-of-the-child effect was evinced only by the parent group that endorsed the gender stereotype. Culture-bound gender expectations and attitudes toward the expectations are significant, then, for parents’ assessments of their child’s competencies as early as the elementary school years.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 5, 2007
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