, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 667-686

“I've got a lot to do and i don't think i'll have the time”: Gender differences in late adolescents' narratives of the future

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The present study examined gender differences in late adolescents' future narratives.Thirty-nine male and 43 female late adolescents (M=20.01 years) completed 90-minute individual interviews assessing dimensional and thematic aspects of the future narrative as well as psychological profile characteristics (abstract reasoning, psychological distress, self-concept, and self-esteem). As predicted, gender differences emerged in the anticipation and projected timing of adulthood transition events. More females than males anticipated marriage and parenthood; females also anticipated younger ages at marriage and parenthood than males. Examination of adolescents' narratives of the life course beyond the adulthood transition revealed greater extensionoverall among males than females. No gender differences in extension or densitywere obtained for the anticipated occupational domain, and no gender differences were obtained in extension in the family domain. Female adolescents, however, anticipated more events in the family domain than did males. The findings are discussed in terms of the implicit theories of adulthood that inform adolescents' future narratives.