Preschoolers’ difficult questions: variations by informant and gender


European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, vol.28, no.4, pp.534-547, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/1350293x.2020.1783927
  • Journal Name: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.534-547
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


This qualitative study looks at differences in how preschoolers’ difficult questions are reported by parents and teachers, and according to whether the children and parents in question are male vs. female. The participants consisted of 131 parents whose children attended public kindergartens in Turkey and 131 preschool teachers. A background-information form and a structured interview protocol were used as data-collection tools. It was found that girls asked four times more questions about sex and fertility, and approximately twice as many difficult questions about daily life, than boys did. On the other hand, boys asked more questions related to religion, science and nature. Sex and fertility questions were more frequently directed to mothers than to fathers, while religion and daily life questions were more often asked of fathers, irrespective of the gender of the child. However, teachers were asked science and nature questions more than either fathers or mothers were, but fewer questions about religion, sex and fertility.