Early childhood precursors of adolescent initiation ceremonies

Ethos Vol/Iss. 8 Published In Pages: 132-145
By Barry III, Herbert, Schlegel, Alice


Societies in which the principal nonparental caretaker is an adult nonrelative and is predominantly the same sex as the child will be positvely associated with the occurrence of initiation ceremonies (138-139).


An adolescent initiation ceremony is more likely to be present in societies where an adult nonrelative is the principal nonparental caretaker (Chi square=7.96, df=1, p<.01 for boys) and where the authority figure is predominantly the same sex (Chi square=6.04, df=1, p<.05 for boys; Chi square=5.22, df=1, p<.05 for girls). The only difference that is not statistically significant (caretaker for girls) shows a trend in the same direction.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Chi squarePartially supportedUNKNOWNUNKNOWNUNKNOWN