The effects of dominance rank and sex on preschool children's proxemic behavior

Coffin, Robert John (1975) The effects of dominance rank and sex on preschool children's proxemic behavior. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

An eight week field study, utilizing naturalistic methods of observation, was conducted in a St. John’s Day care centre to ascertain the effects of rank in the dominance hierarchy and sex on preschool children’s proxemic behavior on both the microspatial and macrospatial behavioral levels. -- A dominance based on the outcome of dyadic physical and verbal agonistic encounters was constructed for each sex. It was found that males were easier to rank and had more stable hierarchies, and that they also were more involved in dominance behaviors than girls. Boys were also found to be generally dominant over girls. -- In order to test the usefulness of dominance rank and sex as intervening variables, a number of hypotheses concerning preschool children’s proxemic behavior were derived from studies on nonhuman primates and human adults and tested on a group of preschool children. Dominance rank difference, with dominants being more direct than subordinates, were found to be significant for tactile contact and voice loudness in both sexes, and for eye contact in girls. Sex differences were found in eye contact and body orientation, with males being more direct and involved in both cases. On the macrospatial level, there were rank differences in jurisdictional behavior and areas avoided for girls, with dominants showing more jurisdiction and fewer avoided areas, but there were no rank differences on any measures for boys. No sex differences were found in the preschool children’s macrospatial proxemic behavior. -- It was concluded that both sex and dominance rank are useful as intervening variables in the prediction of preschool children’s proxemic behavior.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7375
Item ID: 7375
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 108-123.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Anthropology
Date: 1975
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Child psychology; Social integration;

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