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J Psychol. 1992 Jul;126(4):385-92.

Gender, academic achievement, and preferences for cooperative, competitive, and individualistic learning among African-American adolescents.

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Division of Educational Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322.


In this study, we investigated the relationships among gender, academic achievement, and student preferences for cooperative, competitive, and individualistic learning in a sample of 136 African-American adolescents enrolled in sixth and seventh grades in a school in Georgia. We used the Learning Preference Scale for Students (LPSS; Barnes, Owens, & Straton, 1978) to measure cooperative, competitive, and individualistic preferences. Three two-way ANOVAs (Gender x Academic Achievement) were conducted, in which the three learning preferences were the dependent variables. Gender had a significant effect on the preference for cooperative learning, with girls reporting a higher preference for this method than boys did. For the other two learning preferences, no significant gender differences were found. Academic achievement did not correlate significantly with any of the three learning preferences. A two-way interaction between gender and academic achievement was observed for competitive learning preferences. Girls' preferences for competition increased as academic achievement increased; boys' preferences for competition decreased as academic achievement increased.

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