In their study report titled “Peer Processes and Gender Role Development: Changes in Gender Atypicality Related to Negative Peer Treatment and Children’s Friendships,” Elizabeth A. Ewing Lee and Wendy Troop-Gordon seek to examine the interactive and unique contributions of negative treatment of peers and cross-sex and same-sex friendships to the conformity of gender over one school year (Lee & Troop-Gordon, 2010). They studied children of an average age of 9.34 years. The data they collected included ratings of peer harassment, teacher ratings of gender atypicality, and friendship nominations.
The study used longitudinal data from 3rd and 4th-grade students to test the following hypotheses; same-sex friends predicts decreased gender atypicality, negative treatment of peers predicts gender atypicality over one school year course, and cross-sex friends forecasts increased gender atypicality. The participants of the study were kids from 5 public elementary schools around two midsized towns and three rural communities within the USA’s upper-Midwest. They were recruited and participated in a longitudinal study that lasted for two years (Lee & Troop-Gordon, 2010). The study addresses the gap between the gender development of children and their relationships in the empirical literature. It addresses the issue through examining relationships between same-sex and cross-sex friendships engagements, the gender atypicality of the children, and adverse peer treatment.
The limitations of the study were; only the younger children were studied, and this is not guaranteed to replicate in older age groups. The findings could also differ if different cross-sex interactions were applied. Using reciprocal nominations of friendship prevented friendships identification outside the context of the school, which could have impacted the gender development of the children. Only a single rater assessed the study, and there could have been mistakes made. The research could also have underestimated gender atypicality relationship with peer maltreatment.
Lee Elizabeth A. E., & Troop-Gordon W. (2010). Peer Processes and Gender Role Development: Changes in Gender Atypicality Related to Negative Peer Treatment and Children’s Friendships. Springer Science Business Media. 64:90-102.