Taxonomic structure in early to middle childhood: A longitudinal study with Zimbabwean schoolchildren

Elias Mpofu, Fons J.R. Van De Vijver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Children's classification reasoning was examined with longitudinal data for 103 Zimbabwean Black (47) and White (56) children attending a randomly selected sample of public schools. The children varied by gender, social class membership (lower, middle, upper) and race (black, white). The children attempted a set of classification tasks at ages 7, 9, and 11. Responses to the classification tasks were scored in terms of interpretive strategy used to engage the tasks (taxonomic vs. instrumental). Repeated measures MANOVA and post-hoc orthogonal contrasts yielded significant differences in interpretive strategies by age or level of schooling, and social class. Higher social class membership was significantly related to more frequent use of taxonomic rather than functional classification strategies. Results support age/schooling-related effects in the development of taxonomic structure in a non-Western society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-212
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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