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Adolescents’ Work-Family Gender Ideologies and Educational Expectations


Davis, Shannon N. & Pearce, Lisa D. (2007). Adolescents' Work-Family Gender Ideologies and Educational Expectations. Sociological Perspectives, 50(2), 249-271.


Much empirical research has been devoted to examining how early life socialization and experiences shape adolescent aspirations. This article adds to this body of research by examining adolescent educational expectations at a crucial developmental stage with a focus on ideational processes. The authors test hypotheses derived from the Eccles et al. model of achievement-related choices regarding links between the previously neglected concept of work-family gender ideology and expected educational attainment. Using recent survey data from children of a nationally representative sample of women in the United States, the authors demonstrate a positive relationship between gender egalitarianism and the expectation of attending a postsecondary institution for ninth- and tenth-grade girls and boys. For girls and boys, having more egalitarian views of gendered work and family roles makes one more likely to desire a college education and a graduate or professional degree, although the relationship is stronger for girls than for boys. The authors' findings suggest the pivotal role of work-family gender ideologies in shaping adolescents' educational expectations and more generally highlight the importance of ideology and worldview in the construction of status attainment goals.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Sociological Perspectives


Davis, Shannon N.
Pearce, Lisa D.