Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Fulton

Second Advisor

Dr. Neil Kent

Third Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This observational study investigated whether there was consistent sex differential treatment of children by preschool teachers. It measured the antecedents and consequences of responses made by children to certain problematic situations often present in free-play situations. The subjects were five paraprofessional teachers in a university affiliated preschool. In five classrooms, observers recorded the occurrence of aggression, accident, and object problems, the Various children's responses to these problems, and the teacher response to the children. The data were analyzed to determine if the teachers were responding differentially on the basis of the sex of the child and if there were sex differences in the children's behaviors. The results indicated that there were no consistent sex differential responses under the specific conditions measured. There was sex differential responding among the individual teachers, but there was no consistent pattern across teachers. Sex differences were found in the children's behavior, especially with males engaging more frequently in aggression than females. These results indicated the development of sex-typed behaviors seemed to occur at earlier ages than three years and that there may be more influential variables than the teacher consequence in the shaping and maintenance of certain sex-typed behaviors.

Included in

Psychology Commons