Mother-Child Attachment and Gender Identity in Preadolescence

Mother-Child Attachment and Gender Identity in Preadolescence We investigated the relations of two dimensions of attachment insecurity (avoidant with mother, preoccupied with mother) to three dimensions of gender identity (gender typicality, gender contentedness, felt pressure for gender differentiation) in preadolescent children. We hypothesized that attachment insecurity (of either sort) fosters felt pressure for gender differentiation but impedes the development of felt gender typicality and gender contentedness. Participants were 863 Black, Hispanic, and White fifth graders attending public schools in the southeast United States (443 girls, 420 boys; M age = 11.1 years). Each attachment measure was associated with each gender identity measure in the expected way, but some associations hinged on child gender or ethnicity/race. Avoidant attachment was negatively associated with felt gender typicality only for White children, negatively associated with gender contentedness for the entire sample, and positively associated with felt pressure for gender differentiation only for White children. Preoccupied attachment was negatively associated with felt gender typicality for the entire sample, negatively associated with gender contentedness only for boys, and positively associated with felt pressure for gender differentiation only for girls. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Mother-Child Attachment and Gender Identity in Preadolescence

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-013-0310-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We investigated the relations of two dimensions of attachment insecurity (avoidant with mother, preoccupied with mother) to three dimensions of gender identity (gender typicality, gender contentedness, felt pressure for gender differentiation) in preadolescent children. We hypothesized that attachment insecurity (of either sort) fosters felt pressure for gender differentiation but impedes the development of felt gender typicality and gender contentedness. Participants were 863 Black, Hispanic, and White fifth graders attending public schools in the southeast United States (443 girls, 420 boys; M age = 11.1 years). Each attachment measure was associated with each gender identity measure in the expected way, but some associations hinged on child gender or ethnicity/race. Avoidant attachment was negatively associated with felt gender typicality only for White children, negatively associated with gender contentedness for the entire sample, and positively associated with felt pressure for gender differentiation only for White children. Preoccupied attachment was negatively associated with felt gender typicality for the entire sample, negatively associated with gender contentedness only for boys, and positively associated with felt pressure for gender differentiation only for girls.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 1, 2013

References

  • Childhood experiences, interpersonal development and reproductive strategies: An evolutionary theory of socialization
    Belsky, J; Steinberg, L; Draper, P

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