Links between gendered leisure time in childhood and adolescence and gendered occupational aspirations

Bora Lee, Olivenne D. Skinner, Susan M. McHale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The world of work remains gender-segregated, and research is needed to identify factors that may give rise to women's and men's vocational choices. This study explored bidirectional relations between youth's gendered career aspirations and the proportions of youth's leisure time spent in stereotypically gendered activities and gendered social contexts. Participants were 203 youth (52% girls) from predominantly white, working and middle class families living in the US, who reported on their occupational aspirations and gendered interests in home interviews and on their daily activities in a series of 7 nightly phone interviews on two occasions, in middle childhood (Mage = 10.9) and in adolescence (Mage = 17.3). Path models revealed that aspirations predicted youth's time use more so than the reverse. Time in gendered social contexts, specifically time in female-only contexts, but not time in gender-typed activities, predicted career aspirations. Implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-107
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan


  • Adolescence
  • Gender
  • Leisure time use
  • Longitudinal
  • Middle childhood
  • Occupational aspirations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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