Toy-playing behavior, sex-role orientation, spatial ability, and science achievement


  • Dyanne M. Tracy

    1. Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Leadership, School of Human and Educational Services, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan 48309
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The purpose of this correlational study was to examine the possible relationships among children's extracurricular toy-playing habits, sex-role orientations, spatial abilities, and science achievement. Data were gathered from 282 midwestern, suburban, fifth-grade students. It was found that boys had significantly higher spatial skills than girls. No significant differences in spatial ability were found among students with different sex-role orientations. No significant differences in science achievement were found between girls and boys, or among students with the four different sex-role orientations. Students who had high spatial ability also had significantly higher science achievement scores than students with low spatial ability. Femininely oriented boys who reported low playing in the two-dimensional, gross-body-movement, and proportional-arrangement toy categories scored significantly higher on the test of science achievement than girls with the same sex-role and toy-playing behavior.