Nancy M. Ford

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Woodruff, Arnold Bond, 1920-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Child psychology; Reward (Psychology); Friendship in children


The effects of friendship on reward allocation behavior in six- to seven-year-old children was investigated using a Sex of Subject x Level of Friendship (i.e., friend, non-friend, neutral or neutral x neutral) x Condition (i.e., the first person in the story dyad yielded either "greater-than," "less-than" or "equal-to" the second person) design with repeated measures on the last two factors. The children were asked to allocate rewards for characters in a story which had some dyad combination of Condition with their own name and a friend, non-friend, or neutral, or two neutrals. It was found that children's allocation behavior was not significantly influenced by the sole factor of Level of Friendship, but males appeared to be somewhat influenced by the combination of Level of Friendship with Condition. The factor of Condition was found to have a powerful effect on allocation behavior of both males and females. All subjects allocated in accordance with an "ordinal equity" framework, but there was evidenced a statistically significant sex difference in that males allocated more in accordance with equality and females more with equity. These results were discussed in terms of socialization and Piagetian cognitive developmental theory.


Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 41 pages




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