Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Person orientation of male and female high school students: To the Educational disadvantage of males?

  • 53 Accesses

  • 9 Citations


Potential differences in the person orientation of male and female high school students that are likely to have a significant influence on their achievement strivings were investigated. A questionnaire, consisting of several indices of person orientation, was administered to 848 grade 10 and 12 students. The data revealed that boys are especially susceptible to anti-intellectual influences from their peers and suggest that the interference of affiliative concerns with achievement behavior, a problem that has received considerable attention in the psychology of women, may also be very relevant to understanding the academic underachievement of males.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Andersson, B. Developmental trends in reaction to social pressure from adults versus peers. International Journal of Behavior Development, 1979, 2, 269–286.

  2. Arkoff, A. Adjustment and mental health. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968.

  3. Bakan, D. The duality of human existence. Boston: Beacon Press, 1966.

  4. Bardwick, J. M. Psychology of women: A study of bio-cultural conflicts. New York: Harper & Row, 1971.

  5. Bixenstine, V. E., DeCorte, M. S., & Bixenstine, B. A. Conformity to peer-sponsored misconduct at four grade levels. Developmental Psychology, 1976, 12, 226–236.

  6. Blishen, B. R. A socio-economic index for occupations in Canada. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 1967, 4, 41–53.

  7. Caldwell, M. A., & Peplau, L. A. Sex differences in same-sex friendship. Sex Roles, 1982, 8, 721–732.

  8. Coleman, J. S. The adolescent society. New York: The Free Press, 1961.

  9. Douvan, E., & Adelson, J. The adolescent experience. New York: Wiley, 1966.

  10. French, E. Effects of the interaction of motivation and feedback on task performance. In J. Atkinson (Ed.), Motives in fantasy, action, and society. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand, 1958.

  11. Frieze, I. H., Parsons, J. E., Johnson, P. B., Ruble, D. N., & Zellman, G. L. Women and sex roles: A social psychological perspective. New York: Norton, 1978.

  12. Garai, J. E., & Scheinfeld, A. Sex differences in mental and behavioral traits. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 1968, 77, 169–299.

  13. Golden, G. A., & Cherry, F. Test performance and social comparison choices of high school men and women. Sex Roles, 1982, 8, 761–772.

  14. Grinder, R. E. Relations of social dating attractions to academic orientation and peer relations. Journal of Educational Psychology, 1966, 57, 27–34.

  15. Gross, A. I., Faggen, J., & McCarthy, K. The differential predictability of the college performance of males and females. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 1974, 34, 363–365.

  16. Hoffman, L. W. Early childhood experiences and women's achievement motives. Journal of Social Issues, 1972, 28(2), 129–155.

  17. Hollander, E. P., & Marcia, J. E. Parental determinants of peer-orientation and self-orientation among preadolescents. Developmental Psychology, 1970, 2, 292–302.

  18. Horner, M. S. Toward an understanding of achievement-related conflicts in women. Journal of Social Issues, 1972, 28(2), 157–175.

  19. Hout, M., & Morgan, W. R. Race and sex variations in the causes of expected attainments of high school seniors. American Journal of Sociology, 1975, 81, 364–394.

  20. Hoyenga, K. B., & Hoyenga, K. T. The question of sex differences. Boston: Little, Brown, 1979.

  21. Hyde, J. S., & Rosenberg, B. G. Half the human experience: The psychology of women. Lexington, MA: Heath, 1976.

  22. Jackson, D. N. Personality Research Form manual. Goshen, NY: Research Psychologists Press, 1967.

  23. Jackson, D. N. Personality Research Form A. Goshen, NY: Research Psychologists Press, 1968.

  24. Jones, J. C., Shallcrass, J., & Dennis, C. C. Coeducation and adolescent values. Journal of Educational Psychology, 1972, 63, 334–341.

  25. Kolb, D. A. Achievement motivation training for underachieving high school boys. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1965, 2, 783–792.

  26. Lavin, D. The prediction of academic performance. New York: Russell Sage, 1965.

  27. Lindgren, H. C. Educational psychology in the classroom. New York: Wiley, 1967.

  28. Maccoby, E. E., & Jacklin, C. N. The psychology of sex differences. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1974.

  29. Marini, M. M. Sex differences in the determinants of adolescent aspirations: A review of the research. Sex Roles, 1978, 4, 723–753.

  30. Mellon, P. M., Schmitt, N., & Bylenga, C. Differential predictability of females and males. Sex Roles, 1980, 6, 173–177.

  31. Minton, H. L., & Schneider, F. W. Differential psychology. Monterey, CA: 1980.

  32. Murray, H. A. Explorations in personality. New York: Oxford, 1938.

  33. Parsons, J. E., & Goff, S. B. Achievement motivation and values: An alternative perspective. In L. J. Fyans, Jr. (Ed.), Achievement motivation: Recent trends in theory and research. New York: Plenum Press, 1980.

  34. Rossenberg, F. R., & Simmons, R. G. Sex differences in the self-concept in adolescence. Sex Roles, 1975, 1, 147–159.

  35. Schneider, F. W., & Green, J. E. Need for affiliation and sex as moderators of the relationship between need for achievement and academic performance. Journal of School Psychology, 1977, 15, 269–277.

  36. Seward, J. P., & Seward, G. H. Sex differences: Mental and temperamental. Lexington, MA: Heath, 1980.

  37. Simmons, R. G., & Rosenberg, F. Sex, sex roles, and self-image. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 1975, 4, 299–258.

  38. Stein, A. H., & Bailey, M. M. The socialization of achievement orientation in females. Psychological Bulletin, 1973, 80, 345–366.

  39. Stockard, J., Schmuck, P. A., Kempner, K., Williams, P., Edson, S. K., & Smith, M. A. Sex equity in education. New York: Academic Press, 1980.

  40. Wright, P. H. Men's friendships, women's friendships and the alleged inferiority of the latter. Sex Roles, 1982, 8, 1–20.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Frank W. Schneider.

Additional information

This study was supported in part by grants from the Ontario Department of Education (1024) and the Canada Council (S73-1887). We wish to express our appreciation to the participating schools boards, some of which were the following: Lincoln County Separate School Board and Windsor Roman Catholic Separate School Board. Also, we thank Gordon Reid for his helpful advice in the preparation of this manuscript. A portion of this manuscript was presented at the meeting of the Canadian Psychological Association, Winnipeg, 1983.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Schneider, F.W., Coutts, L.M. Person orientation of male and female high school students: To the Educational disadvantage of males?. Sex Roles 13, 47–63 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00287460

Download citation


  • High School
  • Social Psychology
  • Significant Influence
  • High School Student
  • Person Orientation