, Volume 49, Issue 3-4, pp 95-109

Gender Identity and Adjustment in Middle Childhood

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Abstract

This article has two purposes. The first is to present a brief (and speculative) account of the developmental origins of the several components of gender identity featured in the multidimensional model of gender identity proposed by Egan and Perry (2001). The second is to offer additional empirical support for the construct and discriminant validity of the various gender identity dimensions. Children (M age = 11.5 years) were assessed for 4 components of gender identity: (a) felt gender typicality, (b) contentment with gender assignment, (c) felt pressure for gender conformity, and (d) intergroup bias (the sentiment that one's own sex is superior). Gender typicality, gender contentedness, and felt pressure (but not intergroup bias) related to indexes of psychosocial adjustment in specific and theoretically meaningful ways. The case for a multidimensional approach to gender identity is strengthened.