Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Innerd, W.


Education, Educational Psychology.




The primary purpose of this paper was to investigate the relationships between field independence-dependence (FI-FD), self-concept and playfulness in preadolescent girls and boys. Sixty-three sixth-grade students (33 girls, 30 boys) from four classes in three schools in Southwestern Ontario participated in the study, with each student completing the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT; Witkin, Oltman & Raskin, 1971) and The Self-Esteem Inventory (SEI; Coopersmith, 1967). The students' current teachers (2 female, 2 male) and those from the previous year (2 female, 3 male) completed the Playfulness-NonPlayfulness Scale (PF-NonPF; Lieberman, 1977a). Contrary to prediction, no significant gender differences or correlations were found between the total scores of the three main variables. The hypothesis that field independence is negatively associated with self-concept and playfulness among girls was supported by significant negative correlations found between field independence and self-concept, and field independence and playfulness. In contrast, the hypothesis that field independence would be positively associated with self-concept and playfulness among boys was only partially supported by significant positive correlations found between field independence and self-concept whereas field independence and playfulness were not found to be related. The hypotheses were further supported by subsequent analyses which demonstrated a trend for FI girls and FD boys to report lower feelings of self-worth and to be rated as less playful by their teachers as compared to FD girls and FI boys respectively. The pedagological implications of the results were reviewed followed by the main conclusion that gender differences in preadolescence regarding cognitive style, self-concept and playfulness are largely due to socializing pressures from parents, teachers, peers and the media to conform to socio-cultural gender-role stereotypes. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1995 .B67. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-02, page: 0502. Adviser: Wilf Innerd. Thesis (M.Ed.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1995.