Volume 13

Relationships With Parents as a Determinant of Gender Role Development Among New England College Students

Jodi M. Benoit


This study was designed to examine the development of gender role beliefs among young adults from a state college in New England. Participants (n = 107) were presented with one of four scenarios depicting a college student, either male or female, with a traditional major/typical personality traits or with a nontraditional major/atypical personality traits. Ratings of perceived religiosity and parental relationships within the scenario character were computed, as well as rater self-reports. Participants perceived the closest parental relationship between nontraditional/atypical females and their fathers. Participants who identified themselves as either Catholic or Protestant maintained closer relationships with their mothers than non-Catholic or non-Protestants. There was also a positive correlation between those participants that scored high on perceived religiosity and perceived closeness within the character and his or her parents. When looking at parental relationships and religiosity within the participant, there were no significant differences between participants with traditional, androgynous, or cross-sex gender role beliefs.

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