SELF–PERCEPTIONS OF ABILITY OF MATHEMATICALLY TALENTED FEMALE ADOLESCENTS

Authors


  • This research was supported in part by a grant from the Women's Educational Equity Act, U.S. Office of Education Grant OE G 00760497.

Abstract

Despite their ability, many mathematically talented female adolescents do not aspire to nontraditional careers in mathematics and the sciences. According to the model proposed by Meece, Parsons, Kaczala, Goff, and Futterman (1982), self–concept of math ability is a central mediating variable in predicting long range goals and ultimate achievement in mathematics. The present study tested the hypothesis that, for a sample of 123 mathematically talented female adolescents, consideration of self–perceptions of multiple career–relevant abilities, as measured by Holland's (1977) Self Directed Search, rather than self–concept of math ability alone, is essential to understanding the ideal career aspirations of mathematically talented young women. The results indicate that it is the combined influence of self–perceptions of several career–relevant abilities that differentiates the nontraditional math and nontraditional science career aspirants from more traditional math/science and nonmath career aspiration group members. Implications for professionals working with the mathematically talented female adolescent are discussed.

Ancillary