, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 21-33
Date: 20 Jul 2007

College Students’ Life Priorities: The Influence of Gender and Gender-linked Personality Traits

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Abstract

This study examined relations between gender-linked personality traits (i.e., agency and communion) and life goals in a sample of 237 undergraduates. In addition, gender similarities and differences in the relative importance of life goals were explored. As predicted, agency was positively associated with the importance of most achievement goals such as having a career, whereas communion and unmitigated communion were positively associated with the importance of relational goals such as romantic partnership. Contrary to predictions, results suggested that men were more willing than women to sacrifice some achievement goals for a romantic relationship. Findings point to the potential influence of gender and gender-linked personality traits on the establishment of life priorities.

Catherine Mosher is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY and a health psychology intern at Duke University Medical Center. She earned her master’s degree in clinical psychology from the University at Albany, SUNY.