8th_Graders - Journal of Career Development Vol 31 No 2...

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Vocational Interests and Career Efficacy Expectations in Relation to Occupational Sex-Typing Beliefs for Eighth Grade Students Peter Y. Ji University of Illinois at Chicago Richard T. Lapan University of Missouri Kevin Tate Ann Arbor, Michigan Following the recommendations of Lent, Brown and Hackett’s Social Cogni- tive Career Theory (2000), we measured eighth grade boys’ and girls’ percep- tion of the proportion of men and women employed in occupations and their level of interest and self-efficacy for those occupations. Results indicated that eighth grade boys and girls expressed stronger career interest in and higher self-efficacy for those occupations that they rated as employing more of their own gender. The study highlights how career practitioners can work with adolescents to widen their perceived range of occupational choices. KEY WORDS: career, interest, self efficacy, occupational sex-type, adolescents. Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) (Lent, Brown & Hacket, 1994) posits that an individual’s environment influences his or her career decisions. SCCT has been studied as a psychological model. A review of SCCT research demonstrates that the majority of research has focused on cognitive-person variables and not on its relationship Address correspondence to Peter Y. Ji, 265 East Armitage, Elmhurst, IL 60126, 630- 834-5721; e-mail: [email protected] Journal of Career Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, Winter 2004 ( Ó 2004) 143 0894-8453/04/1200-0143/0 Ó 2004 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
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with contextual factors (Lent, Brown & Hacket, 2000). As an exten- sion of SCCT, Lent et al. (2000) offered the Concentric Model of Environmental Influences. This model conceptualizes an individual’s contextual environment as three ecological layers: the person, sur- rounded by an immediate environment or the proximal layer, which is encircled by the social-cultural context or the distal layer. The proximal and distal factors influence an individual’s perception of potential career choices. Sociological models of career choice provides an opportunity to investigate how socio-cultural variables might influence an individ- ual’s career choice (Lapan & Jingeleski, 1992). Gender role socializa- tion has been cited as one important social-cultural variable that influences career choice (Lent et al., 1994). Gender role socialization includes messages an individual receives and processes from the social environment regarding what behaviors and roles are appropri- ate for his or her sex (Eccles, 1987). Gottfredson and Lapan’s (1997) Circumscription and Compromise Theory is a sociological model that describes how an individual’s perception about gender role socializa- tion influences career choice. As a distal contextual factor, an indi- vidual’s socio-cultural learning experiences shapes his or her perception of what types of gender appropriate roles and behaviors are commonly associated with the tasks and duties of a particular occupation. Gottfredson (1981) argued that an individual’s percep- tion of these gender stereotypes become associated with an occupa- tion. The same individual is aware which roles and behaviors he or
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