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Dev Psychol. 2001 Jul;37(4):451-63.

Gender identity: a multidimensional analysis with implications for psychosocial adjustment.

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Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, USA.


This study examined the relations between components of gender identity and psychosocial adjustment. The aspects of gender identity assessed were (a) feelings of psychological compatibility with one's gender (i.e.. feeling one is a typical member of one's sex and feeling content with one's biological sex), (b) feelings of pressure from parents, peers, and self for conformity to gender stereotypes. and (c) the sentiment that one's own sex is superior to the other (intergroup bias). Adjustment was assessed in terms of self-esteem and peer acceptance. Participants were 182 children in Grades 4 through 8. Felt gender compatibility (when operationalized as either self-perceived gender typicality or feelings of contentment with one's biological sex) was positively related to adjustment, whereas felt pressure and intergroup bias were negatively associated with adjustment. The results provide new insights into the role of gender identity in children's well-being, help identify sources of confusion in previous work, and suggest directions for future inquiry.

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