Girly-girl Disney princess culture: Does it matter?

Jennifer Linder, professor of psychologyDoes engagement with Disney princesses, whether watching movies or playing with toys, have an effect on children? That’s what Jennifer Linder, Linfield psychology professor, wanted to find out.

Linder examined the issue in a research project involving 198 children. She was part of a team that included fellow psychology professors from Brigham Young University and Texas Tech University.

They found engagement with Disney princesses did increase female gender stereotypical behavior for both girls and boys. The results, published last summer in the academic journal Child Development, received prominent media attention, including stories in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Oregonian, Time Magazine and Slate, to name just a few.

The research project was also another opportunity for Linfield undergraduate students to be involved with high level research projects. Linder enlisted students to assist with collecting and analyzing the data.

We sat down with Professor Linder to learn more about the project.