Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
Children believe the world is far more segregated by gender than it actually is, implies a new study led by a Michigan State University scholar.
Jennifer Watling Neal and colleagues examined classroom friendships in five U.S. elementary schools. Their findings, published in the journal Child Development, found boys and girls had no problems being friends together but for some reason had a perception that only boys played with boys and girls played with girls.
"Kids believe gender plays a larger role in friendship that it actually does," said Neal, assistant professor of psychology.
Children who have more accurate perceptions of the social relationships around them may be better able to avoid conflict and have more positive interactions with their peers, Neal said.
The findings also have implications when the students grow up.
"In adulthood," Neal said, "we know that people who have accurate perceptions of workplace relationships tend to be perceived as more powerful and have better reputations than their colleagues."
The study of 426 second- through fourth-graders found gender is still important in the formation of friendships; children were nine times more likely to be friends if they were the same gender.
However, when asked about their friends' friends, a child was 50 times more likely to believe two classmates were friends when they were the same gender.
"Thus, while gender does matter a great deal in the formation of children's friendships, children think it is nearly the only relevant factor," Neal said.
Neal's co-authors were Zachary P. Neal, MSU assistant professor of sociology, and Elise Cappella, associate professor of applied psychology at New York University.
I Know Who My Friends Are, but Do You? Predictors of Self-Reported and Peer-Inferred Relationships, Child Development, article first published online: 9 DEC 2013, DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12194
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Psychology / Psychiatry category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Michigan State University. "Children have skewed view of gender segregation." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 13 Jan. 2014. Web.
7 Mar. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271054>
Michigan State University. (2014, January 13). "Children have skewed view of gender segregation." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271054.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.