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The effects of sex role bias on the referral and assessment of children for learning and behavioural disorders

Memorial University of Newfoundland
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  • Design
  • Medicine


The purpose of this thesis was to determine whether sex role bias is a significant factor in teachers' referral of children for learning and behavioural disorders. -- Thirty-four male and thirty-four female teachers representing seven grade levels from kindergarten to grade six were utilized as subjects. Half of the subjects of each gender received a questionnaire listing eight hypothetical behavioural topographies, four male and four female. Subjects were instructed to suggest diagnostic labels and placement settings for each topography from options provided. -- This procedure was replicated with the remaining half of the subjects utilizing a similar questionnaire, differing only in the gender of each behavioural topography. -- The hypotheses were tested by split-plot design. Computations were performed using SPSS-X (Procedure MANOVA). -- Achievement proved to significantly affect placement, higher achievers receiving less restrictive placement settings. Disruptiveness proved to be an equalizer or "leveler" which altered teachers' placement decisions depending on the achievement level of the topography. -- Although no difference was noted in the placement of topographies by male teachers, female teachers suggested significantly more restrictive placement settings for female topographies than male topographies. These results seem to indicate a definite sex role bias in the opposite direction anticipated and only on the part of the female teachers. The significance of these results was discussed in terms of in vivo applicability.

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