Pretty as a Princess: Longitudinal Effects of Engagement With Disney Princesses on Gender Stereotypes, Body Esteem, and Prosocial Behavior in Children

Sarah M. Coyne, Jennifer Ruh Linder, Eric E. Rasmussen, David A. Nelson, Victoria Birkbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined level of engagement with Disney Princess media/products as it relates to gender-stereotypical behavior, body esteem (i.e. body image), and prosocial behavior during early childhood. Participants consisted of 198 children (Mage = 58 months), who were tested at two time points (approximately 1 year apart). Data consisted of parent and teacher reports, and child observations in a toy preference task. Longitudinal results revealed that Disney Princess engagement was associated with more female gender-stereotypical behavior 1 year later, even after controlling for initial levels of gender-stereotypical behavior. Parental mediation strengthened associations between princess engagement and adherence to female gender-stereotypical behavior for both girls and boys, and for body esteem and prosocial behavior for boys only.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1909-1925
Number of pages17
JournalChild development
Volume87
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

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