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The role of ability beliefs and agentic vs. communal career goals in adolescents' first educational choice. What explains the degree of gender-balance?

Tellhed, Una LU ; Bäckström, Martin LU and Björklund, Fredrik LU (2018) In Journal of Vocational Behavior 104(February 2018). p.1-13
Abstract
To reduce the horizontal gender segregation in the labor market, we need to understand gender differences in career choice. The current study followed a large group of Swedish adolescents as they made their first educational choice, and tested for mediation of gender differences using measures of ability beliefs and career goals, which were collected shortly prior to the choice.
Findings revealed strong gender differences in high-tech ability beliefs (e.g. computers), which combined with social ability beliefs (e.g. listening skills) and, to a lesser degree, communal career goals (e.g. helping) explained gender differences in educational choice. A new measure of career goal choice revealed that a majority of the adolescents prefer... (More)
To reduce the horizontal gender segregation in the labor market, we need to understand gender differences in career choice. The current study followed a large group of Swedish adolescents as they made their first educational choice, and tested for mediation of gender differences using measures of ability beliefs and career goals, which were collected shortly prior to the choice.
Findings revealed strong gender differences in high-tech ability beliefs (e.g. computers), which combined with social ability beliefs (e.g. listening skills) and, to a lesser degree, communal career goals (e.g. helping) explained gender differences in educational choice. A new measure of career goal choice revealed that a majority of the adolescents prefer agentic (e.g. status) over communal
goal fulfilment if made to choose, although this preference was stronger amongst the boys. Our results support social cognitive career theory, expectancy-value theory and the goal congruity perspective as they demonstrate how gender differences in educational choice can be understood in terms of differences in competence beliefs and career goals. Furthermore, the results suggest that one reason why gender balanced programs appeal to adolescents is their perceived ability to fulfill both agentic and communal career goals. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Vocational Behavior
volume
104
issue
February 2018
pages
1 - 13
publisher
Elsevier
ISSN
1095-9084
DOI
10.1016/j.jvb.2017.09.008
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
fe33f302-6776-46cb-a437-86acff3ca214
alternative location
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S000187911730115X
date added to LUP
2017-09-25 13:28:44
date last changed
2018-01-01 04:30:00
@article{fe33f302-6776-46cb-a437-86acff3ca214,
  abstract     = {To reduce the horizontal gender segregation in the labor market, we need to understand gender differences in career choice. The current study followed a large group of Swedish adolescents as they made their first educational choice, and tested for mediation of gender differences using measures of ability beliefs and career goals, which were collected shortly prior to the choice.<br/>Findings revealed strong gender differences in high-tech ability beliefs (e.g. computers), which combined with social ability beliefs (e.g. listening skills) and, to a lesser degree, communal career goals (e.g. helping) explained gender differences in educational choice. A new measure of career goal choice revealed that a majority of the adolescents prefer agentic (e.g. status) over communal<br/>goal fulfilment if made to choose, although this preference was stronger amongst the boys. Our results support social cognitive career theory, expectancy-value theory and the goal congruity perspective as they demonstrate how gender differences in educational choice can be understood in terms of differences in competence beliefs and career goals. Furthermore, the results suggest that one reason why gender balanced programs appeal to adolescents is their perceived ability to fulfill both agentic and communal career goals.},
  author       = {Tellhed, Una and Bäckström, Martin and Björklund, Fredrik},
  issn         = {1095-9084},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {February 2018},
  pages        = {1--13},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Vocational Behavior},
  title        = {The role of ability beliefs and agentic vs. communal career goals in adolescents' first educational choice. What explains the degree of gender-balance?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2017.09.008},
  volume       = {104},
  year         = {2018},
}