Women' Career Choices: Focus on Science, Math, and Technology Careers

Helen S. Farmer, James L. Wardrop, Mary Z. Anderson, Rhonda Risinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was part of a longitudinal study of factors related to persistence in a science-related career. Participants (N = 173; 97 women and 76 men) were a subsample of matched participants from the 1980 and 1990 phases of data collection in the midwestern United States who in 1980, while in high school, aspired to a science, math, or technology career. By 1990, 36% of women and 46% of men had persisted in a science-related career. Structural equation model testing indicated that for women persistence was related to the number of elective high school science courses taken and that women who had higher career commitment were more likely to have switched aspirations to another career field. For men, persistence was related to their 1980 and 1990 career aspiration level and needing and obtaining financial support for college. For men these relationships also incorporated the largely indirect effects of high school science grade point average. Implications for counseling include encouraging interested adolescent girls to take elective science courses and nurturing aspiration level in adolescent boys who have science ability and are interested in a science career.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-170
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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