Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Gender and Age Effects Interact in Preschoolers' Help-Seeking: Evidence for Differential Responses to Changes in Task Difficulty
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: This study explored preschool age and gender differences in help-seeking within the theoretical framework of scaffolded problem-solving and self-regulation (Bruner, ; Rogoff, ; Vygotsky, ; ). Within-subject analyses tracked changes in help-seeking among 62 preschoolers (34 boys, 28 girls, mean age 4.22 years) solving a challenging puzzle with an adult. The goal was to document whether age and gender interact with fluctuating difficulty to affect children's spontaneous help-seeking. ANOVAs indicated that girls used more help-seeking during difficult segments of the task, despite performance equal to the boys. This pattern was strongest among older girls, who outperformed all other children and used the most help-seeking. Partial correlations, controlling for solving time, indicated that age predicted children's help-seeking during the most difficult segments of the task, but only among girls. Gender differences in social–linguistic maturation and cognitive development are discussed within the framework of Vygotskian theory and related educational practice.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 39, Issue 5.

Return to TOC.

Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page