Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 38, Issue 8, pp 1027–1037 | Cite as

Predictors of Level of Voice in Adolescent Girls: Ethnicity, Attachment, and Gender Role Socialization

Empirical Research


The current study empirically examined predictors of level of voice (ethnicity, attachment, and gender role socialization) in a diverse sample of 108 14-year-old girls. Structural equation modeling results indicated that parental attachment predicted level of voice with authority figures, and gender role socialization predicted level of voice with authority figures and peers. Both masculinity and femininity were salient for higher levels of voice with authority figures whereas higher scores on masculinity contributed to higher levels of voice with peers. These findings suggest that, contrary to previous theoretical work, femininity itself is not a risk factor for low levels of voice. In addition, African-American girls had higher levels of voice with teachers and classmates than did Caucasian girls, and girls who were in a school with a greater concentration of ethnic minorities had higher levels of voice with peers than did girls at a school with fewer minority students.


Adolescent development Females Level of voice Attachment Gender role socialization 



This study was supported by the Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation and a Woodrow Wilson Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies, and is based in part on a dissertation completed by Sally A. Theran at Michigan State University. Portions of these data were presented at the April 2003 meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Tampa, FL. The author would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers and the editor for their helpful comments and suggestions. Many thanks to John Bergeron, Linda Charmaraman, Sumru Erkut, Alice Frye, Nancy Genero, Jennifer Grossman, Elissa Koff, Julie Norem, and Robin Weatherill for their comments on an earlier version of this paper. Kelly Klump, Alytia Levendosky, and Fred Oswald provided very helpful feedback for this study. Special thanks to G. Anne Bogat for her guidance and suggestions. Finally, my deepest gratitude for the assistance and interest of the students, teachers, and principals at the three middle schools.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWellesley CollegeWellesleyUSA

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