Sex differences in children’s toy preferences: A systematic review, meta-regression and meta-analysis.

Todd, B., Fischer, R., DiCosta, S., Roestorf, A., Harbour, K. & Barry, J.A. (2017). Sex differences in children’s toy preferences: A systematic review, meta-regression and meta-analysis.. Infant and Child Development, doi: 10.1002/icd.2064

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Abstract

From an early age, most children choose to play with toys typed to their own gender. In order to identify variables that predict toy preference, we conducted a meta-analysis of observational studies of the free selection of toys by boys and girls aged between 1 and 8 years. From an initial pool of 1788 papers, 16 studies (787 boys and 813 girls) met our inclusion criteria. We found that boys played with male-typed toys more than girls did (Cohen's d = 1.03, p < .0001) and girls played with female-typed toys more than boys did (Cohen's d = −0.91, p < .0001). Meta-regression showed no significant effect of presence of an adult, study context, geographical location of the study, publication date, child's age, or the inclusion of gender-neutral toys. However, further analysis of data for boys and girls separately revealed that older boys played more with male-typed toys relative to female-typed toys than did younger boys (β = .68, p < .0001). Additionally, an effect of the length of time since study publication was found: girls played more with female-typed toys in earlier studies than in later studies (β = .70, p < .0001), whereas boys played more with male-typed toys (β = .46, p < .05) in earlier studies than in more recent studies. Boys also played with male-typed toys less when observed in the home than in a laboratory (β = −.46, p < .05). Findings are discussed in terms of possible contributions of environmental influences and age-related changes in boys' and girls' toy preferences

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Todd, B., Fischer, R., DiCosta, S., Roestorf, A., Harbour, K. & Barry, J.A. (2017). Sex differences in children’s toy preferences: A systematic review, meta-regression and meta-analysis. Infant and Child Development, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/icd.2064. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving
Uncontrolled Keywords: toy preference; gender differences; play
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/18549

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