Quantifying gender norm resistance

Matthew G. Nielson*, Carol Lynn Martin, Leoandra Onnie Rogers, Cindy Faith Miller, Dawn England

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Qualitative and mixed-methods researchers have described the experience of gender norm resistance in adolescence and identified potential types of resistance including indirect resistance (motivated by a preference for gender-atypicality) and direct resistance (motivated by dislike of gender norms and a desire to change them). Building on this work, we developed the Gender Norm Resistance measure to operationalize indirect and direct gender norm resistance. We explored how gender norm resistance aligns with and differs from other gender self-concepts (e.g., felt pressure to conform to gender norms) and peer relations (e.g., contact with peers) and tested for gender differences. Methods: Participants included 484 early adolescents (girls = 234; Mage = 11.44 years, SD = 0.56). Analyses included factor analyses (EFA, CFA) and bivariate correlations to gather validity evidence, and ANOVAs to determine mean level differences. Results: Evidence that validated using the proposed measure as intended was found including confirmation of the two types of gender norm resistance (indirect and direct). Mean differences were found across participant gender as well as across types of gender norm resistance. Conclusions: The findings highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the Gender Norm Resistance measure, the different ways adolescents experience indirect and direct gender norm resistance, and the limited role of felt pressure in gender norm resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-229
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adolescence
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Adolescence
  • Gender difference
  • Gender norms
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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