Document Type



Published in Merrill-Palmer Quarterly by Wayne State University Press, volume 54 issue 4, 2008.


Wayne State University Press

Publication Source

Merrill-Palmer Quarterly


Sixty-four kindergarten children participated in a bead-collecting game. Their competitive, noncompetitive, and other moves were measured. Gender and gender composition of the group affected competition in the context of playing this game with known peers. The boys were more competitive than the girls. Girls in the same-gender groups, but not mixed-gender groups, had low levels of competitive moves overall. Similar rates of strategic moves and game understanding suggest that the noted gender differences were not due to lack of game skill. However, the experience of playing the game can differ for boys and girls, and this difference may be emphasized when girls are playing exclusively with other girls.