Barbie as a model of gender nontraditional career possible self content for preschool and kindergarten girls (thesis)
Girls (N = 26, mean age = 4.38 years) were interviewed using Barbies dressed in gender traditional and nontraditional career outfits about their identification with the dolls and girls' own aspirations and self-efficacy to assess possible self content and the effects of exposure to a counterstereotypic model. Girls identified more often with the dolls in gender traditional career outfits but spoke about identification predominantly in terms of similarity of hair. The majority White sample identified with White dolls more frequently than Black dolls although nonwhite participants reasoned "likeness" to dolls based on skin more frequently than did White participants. Following exposure to the counterstereotypic dolls with gender nontraditional careers, girls affirmed being able to engage in a greater proportion of gender nontraditional careers as an adult than before exposure to these dolls. These results imply that toys themselves may constitute models for children, either constraining or expanding possible selves.
Thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Emily Fay Coyle is a member of the Class of 2010 of Washington and Lee University.