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Mexican-American Adolescents’ Gender-Typed Characteristics: The Role of Sibling and Friend Characteristics


This study examined the role of sibling and friend characteristics in Mexican-American youth's gender-typed characteristics (i.e., attitudes, interests, and leisure activities) in early versus middle adolescence using a sibling design. Mexican-American 7th graders (M = 12.51 years; SD = .58) and their older siblings (M = 15.48 years; SD = 1.57) from 246 families participated in home interviews and a series of seven nightly phone calls. Results revealed that younger/early adolescent siblings reported more traditional gender role attitudes than their older/middle adolescent siblings and older brothers were more traditional in their attitudes than older sisters. When comparing siblings' gender-typed interests and leisure activities, boys reported more masculine orientations than girls and girls reported more feminine orientations than boys. Older brothers' gender-typed characteristics were associated with the amount of time spent with and gender characteristics of their friendship group, but for younger brothers, sibling characteristics were associated with their gender-typed characteristics. In contrast, both sibling and friendship characteristics were significantly associated with older and younger sisters' gender-typed characteristics. The discussion addressed the different correlates of older and younger sisters' and brothers' gender-typed characteristics.

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