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Gender identity and well-being in early adolescence : exploring the roles of peer culture and the gender composition of the school context

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Gender identity and well-being in early adolescence : exploring the roles of peer culture and the gender composition of the school context

Drury, Kate-Mills (2009) Gender identity and well-being in early adolescence : exploring the roles of peer culture and the gender composition of the school context. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Research on gender development draws on two principal hypotheses: gender is a multi-dimensional construct and gender develops within social contexts. The present study examines the associations between gender identity, peer acceptance and self-worth across two contexts, single-sex (all-girls) and mixed-sex schools. The investigation examined whether peer relations mediate the association between gender identity and self-worth and whether type of school moderates the association between gender identity and peer relations. Early adolescents (N = 676, mean age = 10.13 years) rated their gender typicality, felt pressure to conform, social competence and self-worth and indicated which of their peers was a friend. We present competing theories, one favouring a stronger association between gender identity and peer acceptance for the girls in the all-girls schools, the other for the girls in the mixed-sex schools. We hypothesized that the associations between gender identity and peer acceptance would be higher for the boys as compared to girls in the mixed-sex schools. We expected our mediational model to be applicable to all groups. Multi-group structural equation modeling was used. Mediation was found in the case of the girls in the all-girls schools. Higher typicality was related to higher social competence in the all-girls schools while the inverse was true for the girls in the mixed-sex schools. This study provides further evidence for the conceptualization of gender within a social context. It highlights the importance of the association between gender identity and social competence, which has a strong impact on well-being.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Drury, Kate-Mills
Pagination:ix, 76 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Psychology
Date:2009
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bukowski, w
ID Code:976520
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:27
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:42
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