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Gender Differences in Aspirations and Attainment


  • 63 b/w illus. 58 tables
  • Page extent: 510 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 1.08 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 370.15/1
  • Dewey version: 23
  • LC Classification: LB1027.8 .G46 2014
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Student aspirations--Sex differences
    • Educational attainment--Sex differences
    • Level of aspiration--Sex differences
    • Achievement motivation--Sex differences
    • Career development--Sex differences

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9781107021723)

What is the role of parents, peers and teachers in shaping school experiences and informing the career choice of males and females? Does the school context matter, and to what extent do educational experiences influence young people's self-concept, values and their outlook to the future? Do teenage aspirations influence later outcomes regarding educational attainment and the assumption of work and family related roles? These questions and more are addressed in the chapters of this book, following lives over time and in context. The book is both innovative and timely, moving the discussion of gender inequalities forward, providing a dynamic and contextualized account of the way gendered lives evolve. Chapters address the role of institutional structures and the wider socio-historical context in helping young men and women to realize their ambitions. A unique feature is the longitudinal perspective, examining the role of multiple interlinked influences on individual life planning and attainment.

• Provides a life course perspective, offering a better understanding of experiences during different life phases and socio-historical periods • Moves beyond studies focusing on either structure or agency to provide insights into how these factors interact and how constraints and opportunities are negotiated • Has an interdisciplinary and international approach


Part I. Introduction: Conceptualising gender differences in aspirations and attainment: a life course perspective Ingrid Schoon and Jacquelynne S. Eccles; Part II. The Early School Years: 1. Peer influences on gender differences in educational aspiration and attainment Richard A. Fabes, Sarah Hayford, Erin Pahlke, Carlos Santos, Kristina Zosuls, Carol Lynn Martin and Laura D. Hanish; 2. Beginning school transition and academic achievement in mid-elementary school: does gender matter? Marlis Buchmann and Irene Kriesi; 3. Gender differences in teachers' perceptions and children's ability self-concepts Katja Upadyaya and Jacquelynne Eccles; 4. Emerging gender differences in times of multiple transitions Jennifer Symonds, Maurice Galton and Linda Hargreaves; Part III. Career Planning during Adolescence: 5. What shall I do with my life? Motivational, personal, and contextual factors in mastering the transition to high school David Weiss, Bettina Wiese and Alexandra Freund; 6. Gendered happiness gap? Adolescents' academic wellbeing pathways Katariina Salmela-Aro; 7. Uncertainty in educational and career aspirations: gender differences in young people Leslie Morrison Gutman, Ricardo Sabates and Ingrid Schoon; 8. The challenges facing young people in apprenticeships Allison Fuller and Lorna Unwin; Part IV. Choosing a Science Career; 9. Do teenagers want to become scientists? A comparison of gender differences in attitudes, expectations and academic skill across twenty-nine countries John Jerrim and Ingrid Schoon; 10. Predicting career aspirations and university majors from academic ability and self-concept: a longitudinal application of the Internal-External frame of reference model Philip Parker, Gabriel Nagy, Ulrich Trautwein and Oliver Lüdtke; 11. Does priority matter? Gendered patterns of task-values across subject domains Angela Chow and Katariina Salmela-Aro; 12. Gender differences in personal aptitudes and motivational beliefs for achievement in and commitment to math and science fields Ming-Te Wang and Sarah Kenny; 13. What happens to high-achieving females after high school? Gender and persistence on the postsecondary STEM pipeline Lara Perez-Felkner, Sarah-Kathryn McDonald and Barbara Schneider; 14. Young people, gender, and science: does an early interest lead to a job in SET? A longitudinal view from the BHPS youth data Anna Bagnoli, Dieter Demey and Jackie Scott; 15. Motivational affordances in school versus work contexts advantage different individuals: a possible explanation for domain-differential gender gaps Jutta Heckhausen; Part V. Longer Term Consequences of Early Experiences: 16. The life course consequences of single-sex and co-educational schooling Alice Sullivan and Heather Joshi; 17. Pathways to educational attainment in middle adulthood: the role of gender and parental educational expectations Miia Bask, Laura Ferrer-Wreder, Katariina Salmela-Aro and Lars Bergman; 18. How gender influences objective career success and subjective career satisfaction: the impact of self concept and of parenthood Andrea Abele; Part VI. The Role of Context: 19. Gender differences in attainment across generations from a historical perspective Anne McMunn, Elizabeth Webb, Mel Bartley, David Blane and Gopal Netuveli; 20. Gender inequality by choice? The effects of aspirations on gender inequality in wages Silke Aisenbrey and Hannah Brückner; 21. Comparing young peoples' beliefs and perception of gender equality across twenty-eight different countries Bryony Hoskins and Jan Germen Janmaat.


'The value here is the diversity of perspectives - in terms of discipline, national context, life stage - that Schoon, Eccles and their first-class team bring to the discussion of gender, school and work. By delving into this diversity, readers will come to understand how a young woman or man makes life decisions.' Robert Crosnoe, University of Texas, Austin

'Extensive research in the United States has examined the role of differences in interests as well as structural barriers to equality for girls and women. Edited by Eccles, the major theorist in this area, and Schoon, with policy interests, this book expands on this literature and is a must read for anyone interested in gender and achievement. This book considers the entire lifespan, and incorporates research done in several European countries.' Irene Hanson Frieze, University of Pittsburgh

'Rich evidence from impressive datasets interrogates complex intersections of personal and contextual factors which shape persistently gendered pathways into adulthood. The structured sections provide an effective way to communicate findings concerning early family and school socialisation, teen aspirations, and institutional and cultural structures. The wealth of longitudinal findings presented across developmental stages and cultural settings makes this collection, edited by eminent researchers Ingrid Schoon and Jacquelynne Eccles, a must read.' Helen Watt, Monash University, Victoria

'This book demonstrates how gender differentials in educational and occupational aspirations and attainments emerge, and why they are so persistent. A particular strength of the contributions are the rich contextual assessments, the differentiated modeling of decision processes, the analysis of changing demands and needs across the life-span, and the prospective longitudinal studies. Schoon and Eccles have achieved the most comprehensive and objective assessment of what keeps unjust but also benign gender differentials alive, and why change requires a multi-facetted approach rather than one simple cure. This work is a must for everybody interested in gender differences in the world of education, training, and careers.' Rainer Silbereisen, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena, Germany

'This book establishes a landmark in the study of changing gender differences over the life course and their determinants. It is a fascinating and very informative collection of analyses into why and how the gender gap in education is reversing. The book offers new theoretical perspectives and a rich set of empirical information on developments in different life phases helping us to understand the new trends in gender inequality.' Hans-Peter Blossfeld, European University Institute, Italy


Ingrid Schoon, Jacquelynne S. Eccles, Richard A. Fabes, Sarah Hayford, Erin Pahlke, Carlos Santos, Kristina Zosuls, Carol Lynn Martin, Laura D. Hanish, Marlis Buchmann, Irene Kriesi, Katja Upadyaya, Jennifer Symonds, Maurice Galton, Linda Hargreaves, David Weiss, Bettina Wiese, Alexandra Freund, Katariina Salmela-Aro, Leslie Morrison Gutman, Ricardo Sabates, Allison Fuller, Lorna Unwin, John Jerrim, Philip Parker, Gabriel Nagy, Ulrich Trautwein, Oliver Lüdtke, Angela Chow, Ming-Te Wang, Sarah Kenny, Lara Perez-Felkner, Sarah-Kathryn McDonald, Barbara Schneider, Anna Bagnoli, Dieter Demey, Jackie Scott, Jutta Heckhausen, Alice Sullivan, Heather Joshi, Miia Bask, Laura Ferrer-Wreder, Lars Bergman, Andrea Abele, Anne McMunn, Elizabeth Webb, Mel Bartley, David Blane, Gopal Netuveli, Silke Aisenbrey, Hannah Brückner, Bryony Hoskins, Jan Germen Janmaat

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