Brooke (Wark) Larson


Education: Bachelor of Science in communication sciences and disorders (May 2019)

Currently pursuing a Doctor of Audiology at the University of Memphis

McNair Project: Gender Differences in the Use of Prosocial Behaviors in Outdoor Settings (2018)

Mentor: Jennifer Francois, Ph.D.

This study explores the diversity of prosocial and non-prosocial behaviors by observing 4 children (2 boys and 2 girls), 5-years in age, in order to observe the differences in genders. Children were observed via recordings during playground activities. While teachers were within reach, they were not present during most of the interactions, allowing the children to make genuine responses. Children’s behaviors were then categorized into 14 types of behaviors. The results indicated that while both genders are using prosocial behaviors, girls are using them more often. As for non-prosocial behaviors, boys are using them more frequently. Taken together, the findings provide introductory support for early childcare providers when differentiating play behaviors between genders.