Albert Bandura’s Social-Cognitive Theory Related to Gender Roles during Early Childhood

Essay by sammymacUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, October 2011

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Albert Bandura's Social-Cognitive Theory Related to

Gender Roles during Early Childhood

Samuel J. McArtor

Colorado State University


This paper explains Albert Bandura's (Bandura) Social-Cognitive Theory and its relation to gender development during early childhood which is ages two through six. The main staple of Albert Bandura's Social-Cognitive Theory is the premise that children observe things in their environment and if they can remember, they will imitate the observed behaviors during childhood. As children the imitated behaviors that coincide with the normal gender and social stereotypes are positively reinforced and encouraged, while atypical behavior usually brings about reticule.

Albert Bandura's Social-Cognitive Theory Related to

Gender Roles during Early Childhood

Albert Bandura's Social-Cognitive Theory encompasses a relationship of factors that aims to understand and predict childhood development. The Social-Cognitive Theory's main premise is the triangular interaction between personal factors, environmental factors, and behavior. The interaction between the child and the environment involve the beliefs and values that are repressed or encouraged by social influences, which can determine the gender development of a child.

This theory also emphasizes the impact that observational learning has on children. In plain terms this means that a child learns from observation and imitation, as long as the child pays attention, is able to remember, and is motivated to physically imitate the behavior. Bandura's Social-Cognitive Theory corresponds well with early childhood development and the gender stereotyping relationship. During this time children imitate and are encouraged by their parents and peers to take part in activities that coincide with their own gender, children are more likely to imitate someone of the same gender, and these environmental factors influence the gender development that encourages fulfillment of gender stereotypes.

Influence on Gender Development from Parents and Peers

Early childhood (age two through six) is a crucial time period in...