A Multiple-Groups Analysis of Predictors of Higher Level Career Aspirations Among Women in Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Majors

Document Type


Publication Date



This study investigated a model of predictors of higher level career aspirations among 2 groups of women: students in mathematics, physical science, and engineering majors and students in biological science majors. On the basis of social-cognitive theory, it was hypothesized that ability, self-efficacy, positivity of role model influence, and role conflict would influence the higher level career aspirations of these women. Data obtained from a mail survey of 546 students revealed that the hypothesized model provided a good overall fit to the data. In contrast to the women in math, physical science, and engineering majors, the relationships between ability and self-efficacy and between positivity of role-model influence and self-efficacy were significantly lower in magnitude for women in the biological sciences group. These findings suggest ideas for interventions designed to increase the number of women aspiring to top positions within nontraditional careers.


This article was originally published as Nauta, M. M., Epperson, D. L., & Kahn, J. H. (1998). A multiple groups analysis of predictors of higher-level career aspirations among women in mathematics, science, and engineering majors. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 45(4), 483–496. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0167.45.4.483.