Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Frances Moroney Whited


A body of research has emerged to postulate the heretofore unexplained discrepancies between the sexes as to achievement motivation. This difference has been identified as the Motive to Avoid Success (M-s).

Books convey societal values and attitudes. The characters in books provide role models for children. Since many characters in books are stereotyped with respect to sex role, it follows that children assimilate values from these models. Not the least of these values is stereotyped attitude toward role and function of gender within society.

This work was designed to study the possible relationship between the M-s in females and the negative perception of female success in males, and the influence of sex role stereotyped fiction in popular reading anthologies.

Forty-eight eighth grade honors students participated in the study. After treatment, results revealed that students exposed to the reading of stereotyped fiction did not show an appreciable increase in negative success imagery in their writing. However, students exposed to the reading of non-stereotyped fiction showed a significant decrease in the incidence of negative success imagery.