The preschool teacher-child dyad: Sex differences in verbal interactions.

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This study describes differences in the quantity and style of female preschool teachers' dyadic verbal interaction with the girls and boys in their classes. 16 hours of spontaneous interaction of 4 female preschool teachers and 38 children was tape recorded in 2 classroom situations, then transcribed and analyzed. The results showed that teachers verbally interacted more, verbally initiated more, and used more attentional-marked utterances in speed with boys than with girls. Teachers used more verbal acknowledgements in speech with girls as compared with boys. There were no sex differences in the fluency (length or reciprocity) of teacher-child verbal interaction or in the rate of teacher initiation of interaction. Results are interpreted within the paradigm of sex role socialization.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532
Number of pages535
JournalChild Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1975


  • preschool
  • teacher-student interaction
  • gender socialization


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