Explaining gender-typed educational choice in adolescence: The role of social identity, self-concept, goals, grades, and interests

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In most industrialized countries, there are substantial gender differences in field of study, resulting in gender segregated labor markets. The present research (N = 457, M age = 14.98) investigated a diverse range of predictors of Swedish adolescents’ choice of preparatory (STEM; humanistic) and terminal (e.g., electrician; health care) programs. The results revealed that social identity related variables (same-gender friendship networks, belonging, and adherence to gender stereotypes) 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. Subject-specific interests were the most powerful and robust predictors overall and mediated the effects of academic self-concept and to a lesser extent social identity variables. The results illuminate the interaction between perceived barriers, opportunities, and interests in determining educational choice, the need to consider gender-typical choice for high-skilled and low-skilled career paths separately, and the importance of jointly considering a multitude of predictors that are typically studied in different fields.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Linnaeus University
  • Lund University

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Socialpsykologi
  • Arbetslivsstudier


Sidor (från-till)54-71
Antal sidor18
TidskriftJournal of Vocational Behavior
StatusPublished - 2019
Peer review utfördJa