Gender differences in the age-changing relationship between instrumentality and family contact in emerging adulthood.

Joel R. Sneed, Jeffrey G. Johnson, Patricia Cohen, Carol Gilligan, Henian Chen, Thomas N. Crawford, Stephanie Kasen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Data from the Children in the Community Transitions Study were used to examine gender differences in the impact of family contact on the development of finance and romance instrumentality from ages 17 to 27 years. Family contact decreased among both men and women across emerging adulthood, although it decreased more rapidly in men than in women. Both finance and romance instrumentality increased for men and women across emerging adulthood. The growth rate did not differ between men and women in either domain, although men tended to be characterized by higher levels of instrumentality than women. There were noteworthy gender differences in the impact of family contact on the development of instrumentality. At age 17, family contact was negatively associated with instrumentality for both men and women; at age 27, the impact of family contact on instrumentality was less negative for women and was positive for men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-797
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006



  • Emerging adulthood
  • Family contact
  • Finance and romance instrumentality
  • Gender differences
  • Gender roles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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