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Dev Psychol. 2006 Mar;42(2):272-82.

Boys withdraw more in one-on-one interactions, whereas girls withdraw more in groups.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, United Kingdom. benensjo@emmanuel.edu


Past research predicts that males will be more likely to withdraw in one-on-one interactions versus groups, whereas females will be more likely to withdraw in groups than in one-on-one interactions. Ninety-eight 10-year-old children engaged in a word generation task either in same-sex dyads or in groups. Boys completed significantly more words in groups than in dyads, whereas girls' performance was similar in the 2 social structures. Confirming the hypothesis, analyses of the dynamics of dyads and groups using time spent writing as a measure of effort demonstrated that boys withdrew more than girls in dyads, whereas girls withdrew more than boys in groups. Furthermore, in groups, girls were more likely than boys to focus on one individual. Causal explanations for sex differences in preferences for differing social structures are proposed.

Copyright (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved.

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