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Abstract

This research examined gender differences in orientations toward autonomous and social achievement. Three independent samples of subjects (total N= 359 males and 574 females) completed measures of achievement orientation (including Strumpfer's [1975] Autonomous Achievement Values and Social Achievement Values scales) and relevant cognitive, affective, and behavioral variables. Correlational and factor analyses clearly identified distinct autonomous and social achievement factors for both men and women in each of the samples. Examination of the correlates of achievement orientation indicated that whereas an autonomous achievement orientation is similarly expressed in males and females, there are considerable sex differences in the expression of an orientation toward social achievement. In particular, a social achievement orientation was associated with concerns over social approval and responsiveness to social influence among males, but was generally unrelated to these factors among females. Findings are discussed in terms of several recent hypotheses concerning the effects of sex role norms on the development and expression of achievement needs in men and women.