Gender roles in marriage: What do they mean for girls' and boys' school achievement?

Kimberly A. Updegraff, Susan M. McHale, Ann C. Crouter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


This study explored the implications of parents' traditional vs. egalitarian marital roles for girls' and boys' patterns of math and science achievement in 67 families with young adolescents. Marital roles were measured in terms of parents' relative involvement in child-oriented activities (e.g., in egalitarian families mothers and fathers participated equally in child-oriented activities). Findings revealed that girls from egalitarian families maintained a high level of achievement across the transition to the seventh grade, whereas girls from traditional families declined in math and science performance. For boys, no significant patterns emerged. Additional analyses revealed that egalitarian and traditional families differed in terms of absolute levels of paternal involvement, parents' sex-role attitudes, and indices of marital power. Our findings were consistent with a person-process-context model of development: Egalitarian and traditional contexts were characterized by different family processes and had different implications for boys and girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-88
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of youth and adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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