Self-Discipline Gives Girls the Edge: Gender in Self-Discipline, Grades, and Achievement Test Scores

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Duckworth, A. L., Seligman, M. E. P. (2006). Self-discipline gives girls the edge: gender in self-discipline, grades, and achievement test scores. Journal of Educational Psychology 98(1), 198-208.

The authors of this article discuss how gender differences affect grades, standardized tests, and IQ tests. Girls earn higher grades on report cards than boys, but usually boys score higher on IQ tests. The study performed by the authors compared girls with boys on different types of assessments and self-discipline.

Throughout children’s’ academic careers boy tend to have lower grades according to report cards. When taking standardized test, boy’s scores were sometimes equal or higher. When students took IQ test boys usually scored higher than girls. The question that was addressed in the study was do boys always score lower on report card grades and higher on IQ test.

The researchers did a study on students from a magnet school. This school is comprised of students who are more likely to attend a four year college, and everyone takes the same classes except for math. The reason the researchers pick these students was because the results of the research would be more comparable.

One reason that is given for females making higher report card grades is because they take easier classes. By doing the study at a school that everyone takes the same classes, this reason is not an option. The other reason for females making higher grades is that they tend to be more self-disciplined. One reason for males making higher on standardized test is because 2

females are expected to make lower on these types of test and they experience a stereotype threat. Another reason could be that males do better on multiple-choice test. Since the amount of time it takes to take a standardized test is shorter it takes less self-disciple, so the self-discipline issue is not a factor.

The results of the research supported that girls predominantly make higher grades on report cards...
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