The influence of interaction style on gender segregation
Hoffmann, Melissa L.
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The play/interaction style theory of gender segregation was investigated in a sample of 39 two- to five-year old children. According to this theory, children prefer playmates with styles of play or interaction that are similar to their own. Because such styles are sex differentiated, same-sex playmate preference (i.e., gender segregation) results. Children were observed during free play to determine preferred playmates and gender segregation level. Teacher ratings were used to derive play/interaction style scores. Gender, participants' play/interaction style scores, playmates' play/interaction style scores, and degree of gender segregation were analyzed for their causal effects on one another using a series of multiple regression equations. The results failed to support the play/interaction style theory.