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  • Design
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Medicine


The present study is aimed at exploring the structure of vocational interests and career choice processes among female college students. For this purpose, a set of instruments for measuring sex-role socialization and vocational interests were developed. Subjects consisted of 680 female junior college students majoring in five different fields in vocational specialization: business college (n=72), home science (n=112), kindergartener (n=189), commerce (n=127), and hospital nurse (n=180). Subjects were asked to respond to the questionnaire which contained the following instruments. (1) Biographical data included information on the choice of college, parent educational levels, father's and mother's occupations, the socio-economic status of the family, and perceived parental lifestyle and sex-role attitudes. (2) The personality traits preferred by the parents during childhood contained 23 adjectives (7-point) in which masculinity and femininity (M-F) scales were imbedded. (3) The experiences of socialization given by the parents during childhood included 25 items relating to child-rearing practices of the parents (4-point scales). This instrument produced 2 orthogonal factors labelled as masculine and feminine socialization experiences respectively. In addition, parental control on sex-typing was rated by the subject by using a 5-point scale. (4) A measure of highschool experiences included 56 activities which the subjects went through during their school lives. Subjects were asked to rate each one by using a 5-point scale. This instrument produced 5 orthogonal factors that were labelled as (a) cultural and intellectual interest, (b) social extroversion and popularity seeking, (c) leadership in classes and sports, (d) fashion followers, (e) academic achievement. (5) A job orientation instrument consisted of 30 items which subjects might want to have as important goals or conditions for their future occupations. They were asked to rate each one by using a 5-point scale. This instrument produced 3 factors labelled as job challenge, human relations, and working conditions respectively. (6) The self-image included 23 adjectives each with a 7-point scale. This instrument produced masculinity and femininity (M-F) scales on self-image. (7) Vocational interests were measured by using 97 job titles in which female students might show some interest. They were asked to rate each one by using a 4-point scale. This instrument produced 8 orthogonal factors: (a) specialized clerical jobs, (b) dressmaking and industrial art design, (c) sales and production work, (d) medical and social welfare specialists, (e) mass media and journalism, (f) receptionist and customer service, (g) teacher, and (f) foreign language specialist. The purpose of the analysis was (1) to compare differences in the contents of socialization expeliences from childhood to the adolescence among female college students in different occupational lines (majoring fields), and then (2) to explore the influence of major fields on vocational interests and self-image in late adolescence. To answer these questions, statistical analyses were conducted based on ANOVA, a method of Hayashi's Quantification-III, and a multiple regression analysis. Major findings are as follows. First, ANOVA based on the data on sex-role socialization and school experience produced the following results. (1) It was found that stuedents in kindergartener and commerce fields tended to identify themselves more with their parents and also to have received more sex-typed treatments from their parents than those in other occupational lines. (2) Regarding the school experiences, the commerce students showed higher scores in both leadership and fashion followers scales, but they were lower in cultural and intellectual interests and academic achievement scales. On the other hand, those in home science and nursing areas were higher in cultural and intellectual interests and academic achievement scales, but lower in leadership and fashion followers scales. The Hayashi's Quantification-III produced two dimensions related to the sex-role socialization; First, androgynous vs. undifferentiated sex-role training, and second masculinity vs. femininity sex-role training. Configulatibns of five subgroups on the above two dimensions showed that the commerce students tended to identify stronger with their parents than other subjects, and that were trained to follow traditional sex-role stereotypes. Second, vocational interests, job orientations, and self-concepts of the female students were compared across subgroups. The method of Hayashi's Quantification-III produced three dimensions: (a) high vs. low interest in practical vocations, (b) high vs. low job challenge, for specialization, and (c) high vs. low interpersonal interest in vocations. The locations of the five subgroups on the above three dimensions indicated that (a) subjects from business college had higher interest in practical vocations and also in job challenge, but lower interest in interpersonal-oriented vocations, (b) those from the commerce major had higher interest in practical vocations, but lower in job challenge and interpersonal-oriented vocations, (c) those from the home science field showed neither unique vocational interest profile nor needs for job challenge, (d) those from nursing and kindergartener courses had lower interests in practical vocations but showed higher job challenge needs and interests in interpersonal aspects of the vocations. Finally, a multiple regression analysis conducted to examine the influence of sex-role socialization, job orientation, and self-concepts on vocational interests among female college students produced the following results. (1) The school experiences during early adolescence were most strongly related to the level of interest in all vocational categories, except for the teacher, and (2) traditional sex-role training by mothers tended to have negative effects on all vocational interests.

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