Investigating the presence of peer bias against ptosis in young children
Leathers-Smith E., Norris JH., Hildebrand D., Hotton M., Dalton L.
Purpose: To investigate the presence of peer bias directed at young children aged 3-6 years of age and the age at which this bias emerges. Methods: Children (3-6 years) completed an individual testing session involving two tasks: (1) a paired photograph task examined the effect of the appearance of ptosis on children's preferences in two different social situations (toy sharing and birthday party); (2) a ranking task investigated whether different grades of ptosis are evaluated differently by children of different ages. Results: A total of 217 children were included. The paired photograph task showed that with increasing age, subjects were less likely to invite children with ptosis to share a toy or attend their birthday party. Three-year-olds did not show a bias against peers with ptosis; however, 4- to 6-year-olds did chose significantly fewer children with an apparent ptosis across both social situations. The ranking task highlighted that 6-year-olds viewed a grade 3 ptosis significantly more negatively than 3- and 4-year-olds; however, there was no effect of age on the rankings given to other grades of ptosis. Conclusions: Bias against ptosis emerges at about 4 years of age and is still evident at 6 years.