Choosing a Norm Group for Counseling: Legislation, Regulation, and Nontraditional Careers

Anita R. Lancaster, Fritz Drasgow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the past 30 years, the number of women employed in the U.S. economy has grown dramatically. Unfortunately, occupational segregation by gender has continued, and women's earnings are still much smaller on the average than are men's earnings. This article examines the role of vocational counseling in the career exploration process of young people. It is argued that providing information to young people about their abilities and interests via same-sex and opposite-sex norms conveys more information than the use of norms based on an overall group and facilitates exploration of nontraditional careers. The use of separate-gender norms raises legal concerns; federal law and regulations related to the choice of a norm group for career counseling are reviewed. The experiences of one organization whose use of separate-gender norms was reviewed for compliance with federal statutes are summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-320
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Applied Psychology


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