ADOLESCENT WORK AND BOYS’ AND GIRLS’ ORIENTATIONS TO THE FUTURE

Constance J. Stevens, Laura A. Puchtell, Seongryeol Ryu, Jeylan T. Mortimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study compares adolescent boys’ and girls’ aspirations and plans concerning achievement, family, and other adult life spheres, and examines the effects of adolescent work experience on these future orientations. The data were obtained from 1001 students, chosen randomly from a list of enrolled ninth graders in a large Midwestern city. Girls were not found to have lower achievement orientations than boys. Examination of the interrelations of achievement and family plans suggests that boys see their future educational, work, and family roles as more closely integrated than do girls. Just as work and family roles are mutually supportive for adult men but in conflict for adult women, so too do employed adolescent boys appear to be developing traditional family orientations, while employed girls, especially those much exposed to formal work, expect less involvement in marriage and family life. The analyses indicate that paid work is traditionalizing for boys, promoting optimism about, and commitment to, numerous adult life domains; but for girls, formal work lessens interest in traditional female gender roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-169
Number of pages17
JournalSociological Quarterly
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1992

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