Title

Vocational interests of African-American, Asian-American and Caucasian-American adolescent females

Date of Award

2002

Availability

Article

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Margaret Crosbie-Burnett, Committee Chair

Abstract

Currently, there appears to be differential representation of racial groups of females in various parts of the labor force. African-American females are overrepresented in social careers, and underrepresented in science and mathematics careers. According to Holland's (1985a) theory, this suggests interest in social occupations and activities, and lack of interest in math and science-related careers and activities. Asian-American females, conversely, are overrepresented in science and math careers, and have low representation in non-scientific and non-math occupations. This suggests interest in math- and science-related careers and activities, and low interest in non-science- and non-math-related occupations and activities. To test Holland's theory, self-reported interests in activities and careers of African-American, Asian-American and Caucasian-American females were examined. Participants consisted of female 10th grade African-American, Asian-American and Caucasian-American students, who completed the UNIACT-R portion of the 1999/2000 PLAN test. The UNIACT-R was used to measure activity preferences, and a career interest item contained in PLAN was used to measure career preferences. It was hypothesized that there would be significant differences between African-American, Asian-American and Caucasian-American females on activity and career preferences. Specifically, African-American females were hypothesized to prefer Social activities and careers more than other activities and careers, and Asian-American females were hypothesized to prefer Investigative activities and careers more than other activities and careers. Caucasian-American females served as a comparison group. To further test Holland's theory, it was hypothesized that activity and career preferences would be related within each racial group. In general, the results of this study did not support Holland's theory. On both the activity and career preference measures, the African-American females showed only partial consistency with their actual workforce representation, demonstrating equal preference for Social, Enterprising and Conventional activities, and equal preference for Social and Investigative careers. The Asian-American females showed partial consistency on the activity preference measure with their actual workforce representation, but complete consistency on the career preference item, demonstrating equal preference for Investigative, Artistic and Social activities, but sole preference for Investigative careers. Finally, African-American, Asian-American and Caucasian-American females did not show congruence between their activity and career preferences. Limitations and directions for future research are addressed.

Keywords

Black Studies; Education, Guidance and Counseling; Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies; Education, Vocational

Link to Full Text

http://access.library.miami.edu/login?url=http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation&res_dat=xri:pqdiss&rft_dat=xri:pqdiss:3056623