What will I be when I grow up? The impact of gender identity threat on adolescents' occupational preferences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The present study examined the impact of gender identity threat on adolescents' occupational preferences. Two hundred and ninety-seven adolescents (45% girls, M age = 14.4, SD = .54) participated in the experiment. There were substantial differences between boys' and girls' occupational preferences. Importantly, adolescents who received a threat to their gender identity became more stereotypical in job preferences, suggesting a causal link between threatened gender identity and stereotypical preferences. A comparison threat to one's capability did not have this effect, indicating a unique effect of gender identity threat. Further, individual differences in gender identity concerns predicted gender stereotypical preferences, and this finding was replicated with an independent sample (N = 242). In conclusion, the results suggest that threats to adolescents' gender identity may contribute to the large gender segregation on the labor market.


  • Samantha Sinclair
  • Rickard Carlsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology


  • Gender identity threat, Gender identity concerns, Occupational preferences, Adolescents
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-474
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch