Academic achievement, which is inherently an indicator of progress in the curriculum, can also be viewed as an indirect measure of cognitive development, social adaptation, and motivational climate characteristics. In addition to its direct application, academic achievement is used as a mediating factor in the study of various phenomena, from the etiology of learning disabilities to social inequality. Analysis of sex differences in mathematical achievement is considered particularly important for exploring academic achievement, since creating an adequate educational environment with equal opportunities for boys and girls serves as a prerequisite for improving the overall mathematical and technical literacy that is crucial for modern society, creates balanced professional opportunities, and destroys traditional stereotypes about the roles of men and women in society.
The objective of our research was to analyze sex differences in mathematical achievement among high school students and to compare various methods for diagnosing academic performance, such as school grades, test scores, and self-concept.
The results were obtained through two population studies whose samples are representative of the Russian population in the relevant age group. Study 1 looked at sex differences in math grades among twins (n = 1,234 pairs) and singletons (n = 2,227) attending high school. The sample of Study 2 comprised all twins who took the Unified State Examination in 2010–2012. The research analyzed sex differences in USE math scores across the entire sample and within the extreme subgroups. It also explored differences between boys and girls in opposite-sex dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs.
The key results were as follows. No difference in mathematical achievement was observed between twins and singletons. Sex differences were found in all measures of mathematical achievement. Girls had higher school grades in math than boys, while boys outperformed girls in USE math scores. Boys were more variable and there were more boys at the right tail of the distribution. Girls with a positive math self-concept did better than boys on math tests. In groups of opposite-sex DZ twins, differences between the USE math scores of girls and boys were not significant.
The results obtained are presumed to correspond more closely to assumptions about the roles of non-cognitive factors of variation in mathematical ability than the mathematical ability theory.
mathematical achievement, sex differences, school grades, math tests, selfconcept
Distinctive features of adolescent hardiness in families of different composition
This article analyzes the influence of family structure on the hardiness of adolescents aged 16-18 (average age 17.2). The aim was to investigate hardiness of subjects from full, single-parent, and large families. We used the Test of Hardiness Survey and the Noetic Orientations Test (SZhO). The sample comprised 200 subjects, first year university students from families with different compositions: 75 were brought up in a full family, 75 in a one-parent family, and 50 in a large family. A one-way analysis of variance and repeated measures MANCOVA showed that the subjects differ both in their hardiness and the distinctive features of its development. The authors conclude that subjects from full families are less hardy than those from single-parent families, but more hardy than those from large families. Also the hardiness dynamics of children from full, single-parent, and large families differ. Adolescents from single-parent families increase their hardiness further, whereas in students from full families it decreases. This can be explained by specific ways that the students survive the crisis of adolescence. And finally, students from large families demonstrate a similar level of hardiness in comparison with students from full families. This can also be explained by specific ways that they survive the crisis of adolescence. Later, when this crisis is almost over, their hardiness becomes similar to that of students from full families, which has decreased by that time.
hardiness, commitment, control, challenge, family structure, adolescents
Gender aspects of status in teenage student groups
Typical male and female roles and relationships can be observed at different social levels: intergroup, intragroup, interpersonal, intrapersonal. In adolescence, increased development of gender characteristics (gender identity, gender stereotypes, gender roles) appears at all levels. Since the leading activity at this age is interpersonal communication, research into gender characteristics and their influence on relations in the student group is one of the most important tasks of modern psychology.
One hundred and forty teenagers in grades 6-8 from secondary schools in Moscow, aged of 12–14, were involved in the research. Special social-psychological techniques were applied for assessment of status relations (sociometry, referentometry, methodology for defining the informal intragroup power structure) and gender characteristics (Bem Sex Role Inventory in classical and modified versions), as well as correlation and cluster analyses.
We found that representations about the group leader contained clear masculine features. We underline the discrepancy between the qualities attributed to the image of the leader and the qualities of the actual group leaders. Thus, the image of the leader includes predominantly masculine characteristics, while actual high-status group members describe themselves with both feminine and gender-neutral features. Finally gender-typed behavior and masculine traits are more typical of low-status teenagers.
status group structure, gender identity, gender stereotypes, teenagers
The impact of gender images in commercials on the self-consciousness of adolescents
Television has a strong impact on gender-identity development. Theoretical analysis shows that the direct perception of different gender characteristics in advertising images has a specific impact on gender self-consciousness, primarily at the unconscious level. The purpose of our study was to uncover features of this impact.
In this study, the effects of advertising images on the gender self-consciousness of teenagers were investigated. Two hypotheses were examined: (1) Perception of gender images in TV commercials has individual variability and is connected with gender features of self-consciousness (gender type of personality, gender differentiation of consciousness, the specifics of gender identification). (2) Direct perception of gender images in TV commercials has a differential influence on the transformation of verbal (cognitive) and nonverbal (emotive) levels of selfconsciousness.
The commercials, which were for chocolate, contained different gender types of male and female images (masculine female images, androgynous images, and feminine male images); they used as stimulus materials in an experimental situation involving 61 teenagers. The contents and dynamics of gender self-consciousness in adolescents were investigated using the psychosemantic method of “multiple identifications.”
We discovered that the girls’ preferences for gender images were more varied than those of the boys. Despite different variants in the gender characteristics in the advertising images, their impact on the gender self-consciousness of the adolescents consisted mostly of gender differentiation and identification with the images of their own gender. In general, in regard to the direct impact in the experimental situation, at the cognitive level, the girls revealed changes in the enhancement of gender identification with images of their gender, and the boys were characterized by the enhancement of gender differentiation. At the level of emotive evaluation, in contrast to the cognitive level, we observed stronger dynamics of the changes in selfconsciousness (enhancement of gender differentiation and enhancement of identification with images of ideals and parental images).
The results clearly showed the quite high plasticity of self-consciousness structures and their susceptibility to externally designated images. We concluded that, in their direct perception, features of gender images in TV commercials have specific effects on the consciousness of adolescents: they reinforce already-formed gender categories and self-identification. We consider this research a pilot study, and we are planning to check the results on a more representative sample with different age groups.
This article analyzes the mechanism of stereotyping as exemplified by gender stereotypes
of road users. Gender stereotypes are not only viewed as an a priori image of a percept,
but also examined ‘in action’ — at the very moment of their actualization with road users.
In the paper we have identified the content of road users’ gender stereotypes; analyzed
the behaviour of male and female drivers, pinpointing a number of gender-specific behavioural
features; demonstrated that male and female driving differ from each other in
terms of speed, intensity and roughness; and identified the conditions and mechanisms
underlying the actualization of gender stereotypes. Based on video and audio materials,
we have found that drivers’ gender-specific behavioural features are perceivable to road
users: such features trigger the actualization of gender stereotypes as attributive schemes,
which determine the interaction between road users, while also laying the foundation for
This article concerns studies devoted to the analysis of stereotypes of women's behavior using a method of plural identification. This method has developed within the general psychosemantic approach and allows to study not only well realized social and mental representations, but those deep and implicit, too. The article describes three experiments. All of them are cross-cultural. In the first and the second experiments attitudes of Russian and Azerbaijan respondents were compared. The third experiment is focused on comparing the feedback received from Russian and US samples. It has been shown that cultural influence is more important than gender influence when we deal with attitudes towards female behavior and life scenarios. That means that positions of men and women of the same culture have more in common than responses pf women or men from different cultures. The method permits to conduct cross-cultural researches into different (subcultures both in one country or in different countries.
psychosemantics, semantic space, gender, social representations, factor analysis
Women’s advancement in journalism: psychological characteristics
The feminization of journalism, a process taking place in numerous countries worldwide, has been advancing at a much higher rate in Russia than elsewhere. This trend is based on both global and specifically Russian factors. The gradual migration of journalism from being a typically male profession to being a predominantly female one brings about a number of inner transformations and creates a certain inner psychological climate. To fully understand these changes, researchers should set new goals for their studies based on an analysis of gender transformations in journalism and on investigations of possible problems and conflicts entailed in the process.
journalism, feminization of journalism, women’s promotion strategies, psychological characteristics.