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Gender Differences in Aspirations and Attainment - A Life Course Perspective

Postdoc Miia Bask and co-authors from Sweden and Finland have published a chapter in “Gender Differences in Aspirations and Attainment - A Life Course Perspective” edited by Ingrid Schoon and Jacquelynne S. Eccles, Cambridge University Press.

Illustrasjon
Photo:
colorbox.com / cambridge

Research questions

When some individuals in the work force of today were children, what kinds of expectations did they have for themselves? What expectations did their parents have for them? Did these expectations vary for girls and boys? Were parents’ expectations about their children’s future education related to the actual education that these adolescents later attained in midlife? How did the child’s academic ability and characteristics of the family figure into this picture?

Based on a Swedish longitudinal study

The chapter presents original empirical findings drawing on data collected for a Swedish longitudinal study that spans from childhood to middle adulthood. The family’s socio-economic status (SES) was identified as an important predictor of several outcomes. The family’s SES and parental educational expectations in middle adolescence predicted middle adult educational attainment. The importance of grades differed by gender in that the mathematics grade was a statistically significant predictor of middle adult educational attainment for males, while for females grades in Swedish were a statistically significant predictor of middle adult educational attainment.

In this chapter, the study findings are situated in the wider scholarly literature and the implications of the results are discussed as they might relate to efforts to promote equitable and optimal life chances for the current generation of European girls and boys.

Read more on the book here