Competitiveness, Gender, and Adjustment Among Adolescents

Abstract

This study explored whether trait competitiveness in late adolescence is more detrimental to females’ than males’ social and psychological adjustment. Two types of competitiveness were studied, competing to win (CW; to dominate others) and competing to excel (CE; to surpass personal goals). Questionnaire ratings (by self and others) of 110 (53 females, 57 males, Mage 17.9 years) predominantly Caucasian (88.9%) high school students in northern Texas, USA were gathered. Males were higher on CW than females, but there were no gender differences on CE. For females, CW was associated with greater depression and loneliness, and with fewer and less close friendships. CE was associated with higher self-esteem and less depression for both genders, but was largely unrelated to social adjustment.

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Correspondence to David R. Hibbard.

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Hibbard, D.R., Buhrmester, D. Competitiveness, Gender, and Adjustment Among Adolescents. Sex Roles 63, 412–424 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-010-9809-z

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Keywords

  • Competitiveness
  • Gender differences
  • Late adolescence