Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 667–686 | Cite as

“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

  • A. L. Greene
  • Susan M. Wheatley
Article

Abstract

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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aldava, J. F., Greene, A. L., and Wheatley, S. M. (1992).How soon is now? Social context effects on adolescents' future narratives and subjective temporal experience. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  2. Aldrich, J. H., and Nelson, F. D. (1984).Linear Probability, Logit, and Probit Models. Sage, Newbury Park, CA.Google Scholar
  3. Amenson, C. S., and Lewinsohn, P. M. (1981). An investigation into the observed sex difference in prevalence of unipolar depression.J. Abnorm. Psychol. 90: 1–13.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Baber, K. M., and Monaghan, P. (1988). College women's career and motherhood expectations: New options, old dilemmas.Sex Roles 19: 189–203.Google Scholar
  5. Carver, C. S., and Scheier, M. F. (1981).Attention and Self-Regulation: A Control-Theory Approach to Human Behavior. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Chodorow, N. (1978).The Reproduction of Mothering. University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  7. Coliazzi, P. F. (1978). Psychological research as the phenomenologist views it. In Valle, R. S., and King, M. (eds.),Existential-Phenomenological Alternatives for Psychology. Kendall/Hunt, Dubuque, LA.Google Scholar
  8. Cottle, T. J. (1976).Perceiving Time: A Psychological Investigation with Men and Women. Wiley-Interscience, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Cottle, T. J., and Klineberg, S. (1974).The Present of Things Future. Free Press-MacMillan, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Derogatis, L. M., and Melisaratos, N. (1983). The brief symptom inventory: An introductory report.Psychol. Med. 13: 595–605.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Douvan, E., and Adelson, J. (1966).The Adolescent Experience. Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Dusek, J. B., and Flaherty, J. F. (1981). The development of the self-concept during the adolescent years.Monogr. the Soc. Res. Child Develop. 46, (4, Serial No. 191).Google Scholar
  13. Elder, G. H., and MacInnis, D. J. (1983). Achievement imagery in women's lives from adolescence to adulthood.J. Personal. Social Psychol. 45: 394–404.Google Scholar
  14. Erikson, E. H. (1964).Insight and Responsibility. W. W. Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Flaherty, J. F., and Dusek, J. B. (1980). An investigation of the relationship between psychological androgyny and components of self-concept.J. Personal. Social Psychol. 38: 984–992.Google Scholar
  16. Fiorentine, R. (1988). Increasing similarity in the values and life plans of male and female college students? Evidence and implications.Sex Roles 18: 143–159.Google Scholar
  17. Gilligan, C. (1982).In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  18. Goldscheider, F. K., and Waite, L. J. (1986). Sex differences in the entry into marriage.Am. J. Sociol. 92: 91–109.Google Scholar
  19. Goodnow, J. J. (1984). Mothers' developmental timetables in two cultural groups.Int. J. Psychol. 19: 193–205.Google Scholar
  20. Gorman, B. S., and Wessman, A. E. (1977).The Personal Experience of Time. Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Greene, A. L. (1986). Future time perspective in adolescence: The present of things future revisited.J. Youth Adoles. 15: 99–113.Google Scholar
  22. Greene, A. L. (1990). Great expectations: Constructions of the life course during adolescence.J. Youth Adoles. 19: 289–306.Google Scholar
  23. Greene, A. L., Bsharah, N., and Bandelow, D. (1988). Establishing psychometric equilibrium: The Balance Puzzle revised.J. Adolesc. Res. 3: 53–63.Google Scholar
  24. Greene, A. L., and Reed, E. (1992). Social context influences on the relation between self-concept and self-esteem during late adolescence.J. Adoles. Res. 7, 267–282.Google Scholar
  25. Greene, A. L., Wheatley, S. M., and Aldava, J. F. (1992a). Stages on life's way: Adolescents' perceptions of the adulthood transition.J. Adoles. Res. 7, 364–381.Google Scholar
  26. Greene, A. L., Wheatley, S. M., and Vogel, D. (1992b). Adolescents' perceptions of adulthood. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  27. Hoffman, L. W. (1977). Changes in family roles, socialization and sex differences.Am. Psychol. 32: 644–656.Google Scholar
  28. Hogan, D. P. (1985). Parental influences on the timing of early life transitions.Current Perspect. Aging Life Cycle 1: 1–59.Google Scholar
  29. Hogan, D. P. (1986). Maternal influences on adolescent family formation.Current Perspect. Aging Life Cycle 2: 147–165.Google Scholar
  30. Humphreys, L. C., and Parsons, C. K. (1979). Piagetian tasks measure intelligence and intelligence tests assess cognitive development: A reanalysis.Intelligence 3: 369–382.Google Scholar
  31. Kastenbaum, R. (1961). The dimensions of future time perspective: An experimental analysis.J. Gen. Psychol. 25: 203–218.Google Scholar
  32. Kohn, M. (1969).Class and Conformity: A Study in Values. Dorsey Press, Homewood, IL.Google Scholar
  33. Kohn, M. L., and Schooler, C. (1978). The reciprocal effects of the substantive complexity of work and intellectual flexibility: A longitudinal assessment.Am. J. Sociol. 84: 25–52.Google Scholar
  34. Lamm, H., Schmidt, R. W., and Tromsdorff, G. (1976). Sex and social class as determinants of future orientation (time perspective) in adolescents.J. Personal. Social Psychol. 34: 317–326.Google Scholar
  35. Linn, M. C., and Pulos, S. (1983). Aptitude and experience influences on proportional reasoning during adolescence: Focus on male-female differences.J. Res. Math. Educat. 14: 30–46.Google Scholar
  36. Linn, M. C., and Swiney, J. (1981). Individual differences in formal thought: Role of expectations and aptitudes.J. Educat. Psychol. 73: 274–286.Google Scholar
  37. Marini, M. M. (1984). The order of events in the transition to adulthood.Socil. Educat. 57: 63–84.Google Scholar
  38. Meyer, J. (1986). The self and the life course: Institutionalization and its effects. In Sorensen, A., Weiner, F., and Sherrod, L. (eds.),Human Development and the Life Course. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.Google Scholar
  39. Moerk, E. (1974). Age and epogenic influences on aspirations of minority and majority group children.J. Counsel. Psychol. 21: 294–298.Google Scholar
  40. Monge, R. H. (1973). Developmental trends in factors of adolescent self-concept.Develop. Psychol. 8: 382–393.Google Scholar
  41. Monge, R. H. (1975). Structure of the self-concept from adolescence through old age.Exp. Aging Res. 1: 281–291.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Nurmi, J. E. (1989). Adolescents' orientation to the future: Development of interests and plans, and related attributions and affects, in the life-span context.Commentationes Scientiarum Socialium, 39. The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, Helsinki.Google Scholar
  43. Peterson, R. L., Hodge, E. A., Kafer, L. G., Matthews, S. R., Pfeifle, H. H., and Van Heuse, C. L. (1981). A group counselling emphasis at a university counselling service.Psychother. Theory Res. Pract. 18: 525–536.Google Scholar
  44. Pietromonaco, P. R., Manis, J., and Markus, H. (1987). The relationship of employment to self-perception and well-being in women: A cognitive analysis.Sex Roles 17: 467–477.Google Scholar
  45. Poole, M. E., and Cooney, G. H. (1987). Orientations to the future: A comparison of adolescents in Australia and Singapore.J. Youth Adolesc. 16: 129–151.Google Scholar
  46. Rosenberg, M. (1979).Conceiving the Self. Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  47. Ross, M. (1989). Relation of implicit theories to the construction of personal histories.Psychol. Rev. 96: 341–357.Google Scholar
  48. Seginer, R. (1988). Adolescents' orientation toward the future: Sex role differentiation in a sociocultural context.Sex Roles 18: 739–757.Google Scholar
  49. Spence, J., and Helmreich, R. (1978).Masculinity and Femininity: Their Psychological Dimension, Correlates and Antecedents. University of Texas Press, Austin.Google Scholar
  50. Trommsdorff, G. (1983). Future orientation and socialization.Int. J. Psychol. 18: 381–406.Google Scholar
  51. Trommsdorff, G. (1986). Future orientation and its relevance for development as action. In Silbereisen, R. K., Eyferth, K., and Rudinger, G. (eds.),Development as Action in Context. Problem Behavior and Normal Youth Development. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  52. Trommsdorff, G., Lamm, H., and Schmidt. R. W. (1979). A longitudinal study of adolescents' future orientation (time perspective).J. Youth Adolesc. 8: 132–147.Google Scholar
  53. Veroff, J. (1983). Contextual determinants of personality.Personal. Social Psychol. Bull. 9: 331–343.Google Scholar
  54. Veroff, J., Depner, C., Kulka, R., and Douvan, E. (1980). A comparison of American motives: 1957–1976.J. Personal. Social Psychol. 39: 1249–1262.Google Scholar
  55. Verstraaten, D. (1980). Level of realism in adolescent future time perspective.Human Develop. 23: 177–191.Google Scholar
  56. Wheatley, S. M., Greene, A. L., and Aldava, J. (1992).Adolescents' Perceptions of Adulthood: Marriage Makes the Woman. Palo Alto, CA: Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service, ED33.8930.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. L. Greene
    • 1
  • Susan M. Wheatley
    • 1
  1. 1.Pacific Graduate School of PsychologyPalo Alto

Personalised recommendations