Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Toys-Sex differences, Parent and child, Sex role, Sex differences (Psychology), Clinicians, Toy choice, Children, Non-stereotypical play, Gender roles, Social learning, Gender identity development, Social norms, Parents, Parents-Attitudes, Toys-Social aspects, Play-Social aspects


This exploratory qualitative study investigated clinicians' understanding of children's non-traditional toy choices and parents' concerns. The study explored parents' concerns regarding toy choices, clinicians' understanding of non-traditional toy choices and parents' concerns, and clinicians' responses to parents who are concerned about toy choice. Ten clinicians with two or more year of experience were recruited through snowball sampling in New England. Participation involved semi-structured interviews with questions related to their clinical experiences, understandings, assessments, and personal opinions related to toy choice for children. Results indicated that clinicians had cases where non-traditional toy selection developed as an issue during session. Further findings indicated that parents tend to discourage cross-gender toy play for boys but not for girls; Clinicians' understood parent's fear of their children's non-stereotypical play to be a fear that their child would be gay. A suggestion for further research would be to explore the role that clinicians have in handling the issue of toy selection since it appears that clinicians in this research reported discordantly and no previous research had been done in this area.




iv, 89 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 80-83)