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Title:Gender Differences in Career Aspirations of Academically Talented Students: A Five Year Longitudinal Study of High School Valedictorians and Salutatorians
Author(s):Arnold, Karen D.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Higher
Abstract:The five year longitudinal valedictorian study examines the lives of 46 women and 34 men who were graduated at or near the top of their Illinois high school classes of 1981. Study members participated through annual interview and self-administered questionnaires. The academically talented students continued to achieve highly in college academics. In college, women, but not men, lowered their self-estimates of their intelligence and began modifying their career plans to accommodate expected future marriage and parenting responsibilities.
Independent raters divided study women into an A and a B vocational group, according to students' current and aspired work and study activities. Discriminant function analyses compared A women, B women, and men on measures relating to labor force participation plans, marriage and parenting expectations, intellectual self-esteem, ability, family background, educational history, work experience, and current work and study activities.
Differences in academically talented women's career aspirations were largely accounted for by their varying approaches to contingencies relating to marriage, family, and paid work sequencing. Family background, education, ability, and self-estimates of intelligence had little to do with study women's vocational activities and aspirations. Nor were women's choices a function of gender-related personality differences (as measured by the Personal Attributes Questionnaire), or of achievement motivation differences (as measured by the Work and Family Orientation Questionnaire). Professionally-related job experience, career values, and marriage and parenting plans were, by contrast, extremely powerful measures in explaining the current choices and future plans of female high academic achievers. The variables which clearly separated women into two groups failed to explain man's vocational patterns.
Narrative profiles of individuals were presented in order to demonstrate the interaction of professional experience, career and family values, and aspirations of academically talented women.
Issue Date:1987
Description:279 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8711768
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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