As an undergraduate at Washington and Lee University, Kingsley Schroeder worked in Dr. Megan Fulcher’s lab and became interested in questions about gender socialization and development. After graduating with a degree in Psychology, Kingsley decided to pursue a career examining the development of gender identity. This interest led her to work with Dr. Lynn Liben in Developmental Psychology at Penn State.
Building on her undergraduate research, Kingsley wanted to learn more about how parents teach their children about gender and how children may play an active role in the gender socialization process. To address this question, Kingsley conducted her master’s thesis project with parents and their children, ages 6-12. She found that parent report of attitudes about gender socialization practices was not related to child report of pressure to conform to gender norms. In addition, as child report of pressure to conform to gender norms increased, the children were less likely to intervene when presented a hypothetical situation in which they witnessed children bullying another child for not conforming to gender norms. In future work, Kingsley plans to design a follow-up study to better parse out how differences in parents’ gender socialization practices and how individual differences in sensitivity to gender norms may contribute to child report of pressure to conform to gender norms. Related to this line of research, Kingsley is also interested in understanding the role of culture in gender development processes. Working with Dr. Mayra Bámaca-Colbert in Human Development and Family Studies, Kingsley also studies gender development among adolescents in a multicultural context.
In the future, Kingsley hopes to blend her interest in studying fundamental gender development processes with investigating how these core processes may vary across different cultural contexts.