This application requests continued funding for an ongoing project examining the development of children's knowledge about and identification with social categories. My previous research has been guided by a conceptualization of changes in social knowledge as periods of transitions that may occur at any point in the lifespan. In this Phase Model of Transitions, changes in how individuals respond to new personally relevant social categories are predicted to occur in relation to changes in knowledge across 3 phases. Phase 1, Construction, is marked by open information-seeking about this new category. Phase 2, Consolidation, occurs when the individual attempts to consolidate this information into a clear set of identity-relevant conclusions. Phase 3, Integration, refers to processes that allow the individual to integrate these new identities and function more flexibly. The proposed research combines this normative developmental focus with an examination of individual differences at each phase and their consequences. Because of the complexity of this new direction, the research focuses on a single social category: gender. The proposed research is organized into 3 study sets each addressing 1 or more of the following questions: (1) What are the connections between social identity and other elements of gender development?; (2) How do individual differences in the components of gender identity, behavior, and beliefs relate to well-being?; (3) When and how do children first begin to construct their gender identities?; and (4) What role do variations in socialization/socio-cultural context play with respect to the preceding 3 research questions? The proposed studies move beyond prior research on gender identity by examining the developmental course of different components of identity and their effects on psycho-social adjustment. Although the proposed studies focus on gender, the issues being examined and the methods used will allow general principles to emerge.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Social Psychology, Personality and Interpersonal Processes Study Section (SPIP)
Program Officer
Freund, Lisa S
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New York University
Other Domestic Higher Education
New York
United States
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Halim, May Ling D; Ruble, Diane N; Tamis-LeMonda, Catherine S et al. (2017) Gender Attitudes in Early Childhood: Behavioral Consequences and Cognitive Antecedents. Child Dev 88:882-899
Zosuls, Kristina M; Ruble, Diane N; Tamis-LeMonda, Catherine S (2014) Self-socialization of gender in African American, Dominican immigrant, and Mexican immigrant toddlers. Child Dev 85:2202-17
Halim, May Ling; Ruble, Diane; Tamis-LeMonda, Catherine et al. (2013) Rigidity in gender-typed behaviors in early childhood: a longitudinal study of ethnic minority children. Child Dev 84:1269-84
Zosuls, Kristina M; Miller, Cindy Faith; Ruble, Diane N et al. (2011) Gender Development Research in Sex Roles: Historical Trends and Future Directions. Sex Roles 64:826-842
Gillen-O'Neel, Cari; Ruble, Diane N; Fuligni, Andrew J (2011) Ethnic stigma, academic anxiety, and intrinsic motivation in middle childhood. Child Dev 82:1470-85
Gonzalez, Celia M; Zosuls, Kristina M; Ruble, Diane N (2010) Traits as dimensions or categories? Developmental change in the understanding of trait terms. Dev Psychol 46:1078-88
Zosuls, Kristina M; Ruble, Diane N; Tamis-Lemonda, Catherine S et al. (2009) The acquisition of gender labels in infancy: implications for gender-typed play. Dev Psychol 45:688-701
Miller, Cindy Faith; Lurye, Leah E; Zosuls, Kristina M et al. (2009) Accessibility of Gender Stereotype Domains: Developmental and Gender Differences in Children. Sex Roles 60:870-881
Lurye, Leah E; Zosuls, Kristina M; Ruble, Diane N (2008) Gender identity and adjustment: understanding the impact of individual and normative differences in sex typing. New Dir Child Adolesc Dev :31-46