This paper was presented in a symposium entitled Sex Differences in Achievement Motivation and Achievement Behavior at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, D.C., April, 1975. The study is based on a doctoral dissertation written under the name Nancy Romer Burghardt and submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Ph.D. degree at the University of Michigan. Many thanks are extended to Lois Wladis Hoffman for so much help and support, and to Carol Smokier for devising with the author a new measure of sex role identity for children. Appreciation is given to the principals, teachers, and students of the Ann Arbor, Michigan schools. Author is currently Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York 11210. This research was supported (in part) by a grant from the Faculty Research Award Program of the City University of New York.
Sex-related Differences in the Development of the Motive to Avoid Success, Sex Role Identity, and Performance in Competitive and Noncompetitive Conditions*
Article first published online: 28 JUL 2006
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Volume 1, Issue 3, pages 260–272, March 1977
How to Cite
Romer, N. (1977), Sex-related Differences in the Development of the Motive to Avoid Success, Sex Role Identity, and Performance in Competitive and Noncompetitive Conditions. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 1: 260–272. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1977.tb00553.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 28 JUL 2006
Horner's (1968) study of the motive to avoid success (M-s) was replicated on fifth- through eleventh-grade males and females. Children were given a Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)-like measure of M-s and a sex role identity questionnaire. They also performed scrambled word tasks in competitive and noncom-petitive situations. While there were no sex-related differences or linear age trends in M-s imagery, sex and grade differences were found in the specific reasons given for avoiding success. The presence of M-s imagery in TAT-like stories did not predict significantly better performance on any one condition for all age and sex groups. However, ninth- and eleventh-grade females with M-s performed better in noncompetitive conditions, while their counterparts without M-s performed better in competitive conditions. The opposite pattern was found for males across all grades: those with M-s performed better in a competitive condition, those without M-s performed better in a noncompetitive condition. These results support Horner's hypothesis for older adolescent females but raise questions about the nature of the relationship between M-s imagery and competitive performance for males and young females. Sex role identity was not related to M-s, thus casting doubt on the notion that M-s is a direct function of female sex role acceptance.