Gender, values, and occupational interests among children, adolescents, and adults

Erica S. Weisgram, Rebecca S. Bigler, Lynn S. Liben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


Work fulfills personal values, perhaps differently for males and females. Explored here was the role values play in shaping occupational interests. Study 1 examined children's, adolescents', and adults' (N = 313) occupational values (regarding money, power, family, altruism), occupational interests, and perceptions of values afforded by traditionally masculine and feminine occupations. Results revealed sex differences in occupational values and interests. Furthermore, participants' values predicted their own interests in culturally masculine and feminine occupations. Study 2 used novel jobs and experimentally manipulated prototypical sex of worker and value affordances to disentangle their effects on occupational interests. At all ages, participants' (N = 240) occupational interests were affected by the depicted sex of the workers and by the stated value affordances of the jobs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)778-796
Number of pages19
JournalChild development
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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