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Title: Gendered motivational processes affecting high school mathematics participation, educational aspirations, and career plans: A comparison of samples from Australia, Canada, and the United States.

Authors: Watt, Shapka, Morris, Durik, Keating, & Eccles

Published: 2012; Developmental Psychology, 48(6), 1594-1611

ABSTRACT: In this international, longitudinal study, we explored gender differences in, and gendered relationships among math-related motivations emphasized in the Eccles (Parsons) et al. (1983) expectancy-value framework, high school math participation, educational aspirations, and career plans. Participants were from Australia, Canada, and the United States (Ns = 358, 471, 418, respectively) in Grades 9/10 at Time 1 and Grades 11/12 at Time 2. The 3 samples came from suburban middle to upper-middle socioeconomic backgrounds, primarily of Anglo-European descent. Multivariate analyses of variance revealed stereotypic gender differences in educational and occupational outcomes only among the Australian sample. Multigroup structural equation models identified latent mean differences where male adolescents held higher intrinsic value for math in the Australian sample and higher ability/success expectancy in both North American samples. Ability/success expectancy was a key predictor in the North American samples, in contrast to intrinsic value in the Australian sample. Attainment/utility (“importance”) values were more important for female adolescents’ career choices, except in the Australian sample. Findings are interpreted in relation to gender socialization practices, degree and type of early choice, and specialization across settings. Implications are discussed for long-term math engagement and career selection for female and male adolescents.