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Gender differences in preschool children's play

Ana Tarman Starc (2015) Gender differences in preschool children's play. Diploma thesis.

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    The goal of the final thesis is to shed some light on gender-based differences which can be observed in the way preschool children (aged 3 to 6) play, focusing on differences in the type of play, the size of play groups of boys and girls as well as differences in their playing behaviour with special focus on prosocial and aggressive behaviour. Moreover, the educators' attitude towards play is examined, i.e. how they intervene in the play of boy and girls. In the theoretical part the key characteristics and types of play are defined, followed by a description of gender roles and gender stereotypes. The last part focuses on the influence of preschool teaching personnel on the way boys and girls play. In the empirical part of the qualitative analysis the frequency of pre-defined categories is determined by means of diagnosis and evaluation and an open-coding method is used to form new categories on the basis of the observed data, collected and analysed using an observational scheme. The results confirm that gender-based differences in the way children play do exist: Girls, when playing with other girls, usually engaged in activities intended for girls, while boys played more boys' games. In mixed groups children usually engaged in gender-neutral games. Girls were more frequently engaged in boys' games than vice versa. Gender stereotypes in mixed groups were often observed when one of the gender groups outnumbered the other. Openly aggressive interactions were less frequent among girls than among boys. In gender-mixed groups, aggressiveness of girls increased and was often directed towards boys, while boys directed their aggressiveness towards other boys. Boys proved to be more prosocial than girls, which could be attributed to a higher degree of stimulation from educators, who intervened more frequently among boys. Boys formed small groups more frequently than girls, while in medium size groups both were represented more or less equally. Big playing groups were rarely formed. It was discovered that playing in a gender-mixed group is an important form of social interaction among boys and girls, which calls for special attention.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: child's play, gender stereotypes, play groups, prosocial behaviour, aggressiveness
    Number of Pages: 108
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Olga Poljšak ŠkrabanMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10747977)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 3161
    Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 09:41
    Last Modified: 13 Oct 2015 09:41
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/3161

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