Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Clinical Psychology

Committee Chair

Robert Cohen

Committee Member

Yeh Hsueh

Committee Member

George Relyea

Committee Member

James Whelan


Children not only experience shame, guilt, pride, and a sense of being unafraid of criticism themselves, but they also make attributions concerning other children’s experiences of these emotions. This dissertation tested the hypothesis that children’s attributions of shame, guilt, pride, and being unafraid of criticism would be influenced by the gender of the perceiver and the gender of the target of the attributions. Three hundred and twenty-four children living in rural and urban China nominated classroom peers to whom they attributed normatively appropriate shame, guilt, and pride. They also nominated children who they thought were unafraid of criticism. Generalized mixed model analyses were performed examining the perceiver’s gender, the target’s gender, and the interaction of these two as predictors and children’s attributions as outcomes. It was found that overall children were more likely to nominate shame and guilt to girls than to boys and more likely to nominate pride to boys than to girls. However, these gender-stereotyped findings were qualified by findings which demonstrated that both girls and boys were more likely to provide same-gender nominations than opposite-gender nominations for shame and guilt. In addition, girls provided same-gender nominations for shame and guilt at a greater magnitude than boys provided same-gender nominations for shame and guilt. Similarly, boys were more likely to attribute pride to a boy than a girl, and girls were more likely to have pride attributed to them by a girl than a boy. Moreover, boys were more likely to receive nominations for being unafraid of criticism and girls were more likely to make these nominations. Taken together these results demonstrate that children used gender stereotypes to make nominations of these emotions and that girls were driving these gender stereotypic associations. The findings are interpreted through a feminist interpretative lens. In the discussion section the findings are used as evidence to explore how gender-emotion stereotypes may be supported and maintained by gender-segregation.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.