A Qualitative Exploration of the STEM Career-Related Outcome Expectations of Young Adolescents

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Carrie A. Wachter Morris, Associate Professor & School Counseling Coordinator (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Perceptions developed and choices made during the preadolescent and early adolescent years may restrict or enrich youth’s future career aspirations. These years are critical for acquiring and exploring academic and career-related interests. In addition, outcome expectations – what youth believe will happen if they pursue certain interests, tasks, or goals – are important predictors of eventual career choice. With national, state, and local initiatives advocating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) knowledge and career goals, there is a need to understand youth’s outcome expectations regarding these fields. We present a qualitative study examining the outcome expectations of 95 youth aged 10–14, using focus group data. Several of the identified outcome expectations had negative connotations. Results supported the outcome expectations identified by Bandura (i.e., physical, social, and self), and two additional types of outcome expectations (generativity and relational). These two outcome expectations have special relevance for the underrepresentation of girls, women, and minorities in STEM occupations.

Additional Information

Journal of Career Development, 42(2), 102-116
Language: English
Date: 2014
outcome expectations, STEM, adolescence, focus groups, qualitative methods

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