Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Schmidt, Wesley I.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

College of Education


Occupations; Vocational guidance; Women--Employment--United States


This study was designed to identify the factors which cause a discrepancy between actual and desired occupational choices among college women, and to examine the discrepancy in terms of women’s self-concepts. A questionnaire was distributed to a sample of women living in one co-educational dormitory of a large midwestern state university. The sample included 150 freshman and 25 upperclassmen. Measures were taken from the questionnaire to test the following hypothesis. 1. Young college women will exhibit the “dilemma” in occupational choice. There will be a discrepancy between actual occupational interest and choice of occupational preparation. 2. Factors that the women perceive to be limitations to fulfillment of occupational interest will be related to women’s role and self-concepts. 3. Significant others will be perceived as influences in occupational choices, particularly parents and teachers. These hypotheses was sustained. (1) Forty per cent of the women indicated a discrepancy as defined in this study. Upperclass women showed a discrepancy rate of fifty per cent. Thirty-eight per cent of the freshman woman showed a discrepancy. (2) The women who showed a discrepancy listed ability, and time and cost of preparation as the chief factors preventing them from following desired occupational goals. These limiting factors appeared to be strongly related to their self-concepts and perception of the role of married women in American society. (3) Mothers lead the list as the chief influencer of these women. Teachers became more influential as the psychological distance from home increased. No strong peer influence was seen. These findings do not differ to any great degree from the results of other studies. They are consistent with findings in other related studies reviewed. Fantasy in vocational decisions is a factor in any occupational study. In this study fantasy appeared to be in reverse--the women were not reaching for goals unavailable to them. Through poorly developed self-concepts and inappropriate role expectations, they had set their goals too low.


Includes bibliographical references.


viii, 58 pages




Northern Illinois University

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