Document Abstract

Explaining gender-typed educational choice in adolescence: the role of social identity, self-concept, goals, grades, and interests, IN Journal of Vocational Behavior, Vol 110 Part A Jan 2019, pp54-71

Investigates the gender differentiated selection of fields of study by males and females in the context of the large gender segregation of the labour market. Reports that women are underrepresented in fields of study such as engineering, mathematics, and computer science, while men are underrepresented in education, humanities, and health fields. Uses data from a survey of 457 socio-economically diverse adolescents, aged 13-16, from eight schools in Sweden plus information on subject grades achieved and study programmes entered (STEM, humanities or a ‘terminal’ program which leads directly to employment) to inform the research. Looks at whether general academic self-concept, achievement goals, self-esteem, and grade point average positively predict applying for a STEM program and negatively predict applying for a terminal program. Finds that social-identity related factors mattered primarily for choice of gender-typed terminal programs, whereas academic self-concept and grades positively predicted selecting STEM and negatively predicted choice of gender-typed terminal programs for both girls and boys. Notes that subject-specific interests were the most powerful predictors overall. Reports that social identity is more important for the educational choices of girls than they were for boys. Highlights the need to consider gender-typical choice for high- and low-skilled career paths separately.


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Sinclair, Samantha; Nilsson, Artur; Cederskar, Elmedina
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