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Gender Beliefs and Quality of Friendships Amongst Adolescents in Urban India Karla Herrera Department of Applied Psychology, New York University INTRODUCTION.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender Beliefs and Quality of Friendships Amongst Adolescents in Urban India Karla Herrera Department of Applied Psychology, New York University INTRODUCTION."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender Beliefs and Quality of Friendships Amongst Adolescents in Urban India Karla Herrera Department of Applied Psychology, New York University INTRODUCTION RESEARCH QUESTIONS & HYPOTHESES FRIENDSHIPS IN ADOLESCENCE FRIENDSHIPS IN ADOLESCENCE  As children enter adolescence, friendships form a core component of their development (Way & Pahl, 2001; Way & Greene, 2006).  Friendships are defined as intimate connections associated with trust, help, companionship, closeness and security (Bukowski, Hoza, & Bovin, 1994). GENDER NORMS  Boys’ and girls’ quality of friendship is influenced by the prevailing gender norms that exist in their culture (Brown & Gilligan, 1992; Santos, 2010; Way, 2011).  Gender norms dictate the way individuals behave in their relationships.  Masculine norms, especially in patriarchal cultures, might prevent young men and women from developing high quality friendships particularly because these norms (such as autonomy) expect people to disconnect from relationships in the first place (Way, 2011). INDIA  Few researchers have examined quality of friendships across different cultures (Hirsch & DuBois, 1990; Way & Greene, 2006).  The current study explored the quality of friendship among young adolescents in urban India.  In India, there are explicit gender norms dictating appropriate behaviors for boys and girls. Deviations from these norms are not readily accepted. Very little is known about the ways in which these gender norms might influence friendship quality among adolescents.  There are also marked socio-economic and caste differences in how individuals relate to one another. The presence of a “peer culture,” for instance, is more apparent among middle and upper class Indian adolescents (Verma & Saraswathi, 2002).  Few researchers have examined quality of friendships across different cultures (Hirsch & DuBois, 1990; Way & Greene, 2006).  The current study explored the quality of friendship among young adolescents in urban India.  In India, there are explicit gender norms dictating appropriate behaviors for boys and girls. Deviations from these norms are not readily accepted. Very little is known about the ways in which these gender norms might influence friendship quality among adolescents.  There are also marked socio-economic and caste differences in how individuals relate to one another. The presence of a “peer culture,” for instance, is more apparent among middle and upper class Indian adolescents (Verma & Saraswathi, 2002). SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS  Delhi is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest metropolis by population in India.  Population: more than million inhabitants.  Largest commercial center in northern India.  The data for the present study were drawn from the first wave of a longitudinal study (N = 255) conducted by Taveeshi Gupta and Dr. Niobe Way in New Delhi, India.  46.7% of the participants were male, and participants had a mean age of (SD =.50).  21.2% of the adolescents were from government-funded schools, 20.4% were from low SES private schools; 34.9% were from middle SES schools, and the remaining 23.5% were from high SES schools. PROCEDURE AND MEAUSURES Name of MeasureItemsReliability Adherence to Gender-Typed Beliefs in Relationships Scale (Santos, 2010; Gupta et al., under review) Even when something in bothering me, it is important to act like nothing is wrong around my friends. 1 (Strongly agree) to 4 (Strongly disagree) ∝ =.73 Networks of Relationship Inventory (Furman & Buhrmester, 1985) How much do you and your friend argue? 1 (Little or none) to 5 (The most) ∝ =.75 Gender of Friends “When you think of your friends, are there more guys or girls?” --  In July and August 2010, participants were asked, during school hours, to fill out a survey regarding school life, friendships and home life. RQ 1: DESCRIPTIVE RESULTS Figure 1. Means for Quality of Friendship and Gender-Typed Masculine Behaviors  Boys adhered more strongly to gender-typed masculine behavior than did girls, t(249) = 4.706, p <.001)  Boys experienced lower quality of friendship than did girls, t(250) = , p <.001.  No significant social class differences for gender-typed masculine behaviors or quality of friendship were found. REGRESSION RESULTS Note: a Male is the reference group ***p <.001 DISCUSSION  I would like thank Taveeshi Gupta for guiding me through this process and helping me become a “resistor.” I would also like to thank Dr. Niobe Way; her work has guided me and opened up my eyes in more ways than I could ever imagine. Last, but not least, I would like to thank Dr. Gigliana Melzi and Kristin Lees, for this project would not have been possible without their help and support. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS CONTACT INFORMATION Karla Herrera:  Results indicated that adhering to gender-typed masculine behaviors was associated with poor quality of friendship.  Findings also indicated that there was no moderation effect of gender of friend on the relation between gender-typed behaviors and quality of friendship. Q1. Are there any significant gender or social class differences in gender- typed beliefs or close friendship quality? H1. Boys will adhere more strongly to gender- typed masculine behavior, whereas girls will report better friendship quality. H1. Students from low SES families will adhere strongly to gender-typed masculine behavior, whereas students from high SES families will report better friendship quality. Q2. What is the relation between gender-typed beliefs and quality of close friendship among urban Indian adolescents? H2. Adhering to masculine gender-typed behaviors will be associated with poor friendship quality. Q3. Does having more friends of the same gender moderate this relation? H3. Gender of friends will moderate the relation between gender-typed masculine behavior and quality of friendship, such that having more same- sex friends will intensify the negative relation between the two variables. Table 1. Hierarchical Multiple Regression Analysis for Variables Predicting Quality of Friendship BβR2R2 ∆R 2 F (df 1, df 2 ) Step (1,200)*** Gender a.38***.28 Step (2, 198)*** Masculine Gender-Typed Behaviors-.58***-.40 Type of friends Step (1, 197) Masculine gender-typed behavior x Type of Friends ***  Like much of the previous literature (e.g., Way, 1995; Way & Greene, 2006), results of the present study showed:  that girls experienced higher levels of quality of friendship than did boys.  that boys adhered to masculine gender-typed behaviors more so than did girls.  With regards to friendship quality, children who adhered more strongly to gender-typed masculine behaviors experienced lower friendship quality.  These findings corroborate those of previous studies (Gupta et al., in press; Santos, 2010; Way, 2011) showing that adolescents who are raised to adhere to masculine gender-typed behaviors not only experience negative friendship quality but also report lower levels of quality of life (Way, 2011).  It is, thus, possible that societal masculine gender norms require both young men and women to behave in ways that do not align with what individuals need to develop closeness, security, and intimacy (Brown & Gilligan, 1992).  Results of this study indicate that, despite globalization trends and the westernization of India (especially in urban areas), traditional gender norms are still upheld and permeate the relationships of the younger generation (Bhogle, 1999).  Findings of this and other U.S. studies document the pervasive nature of the “connection crisis” (Way, 2011) young men and women are experiencing across the world.  Thus, the present study underscores the importance of international research as they provide a more holistic picture of adolescent's social and emotional development. This is particularly important in answering the call of the missing 95% in psychological research (Arnett, 2008). GENDER TYPED MASCULINE BEHAVIOR GENDER OF FRIENDS QUALITY OF FRIENDSHIP


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