Adolescents' conceptualization of adult roles: Relationships with age, gender, work goal, and maternal employment

Dorothy W. Jackson, Jenn Yun Tein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study concerns the construction of the personal stereotypes of "adult" and adulthood roles and the influence of gender, maternal employment, and employment goals of adolescents in formulating a concept of "adult" during two periods in adolescence. A sample of 237 adolescents, 12% non-Caucasian, responded to statements reflecting interpersonal expectations and gender responsibilities attributed to adults. Exploratory factor analysis indicated a four-factor structure in attitudes toward familial and career roles, ideology of fairness, social status, and rational characteristics, which were gender differentiated by contexts and norm references. Analyses of variance on the factor score indicated girls' and young boys' conceptualizations of "adult" were related to maternal employment status and their career goals; older adolescent boys structured the roles of parent, worker, and spouse as traditionally gender typed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-1008
Number of pages22
JournalSex Roles
Volume38
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Jun 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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