Motivation and the Self Concept: Persisting Goals of Young Women and Men

Janice Langan‐Fox
Published Online:
27 Sep 2007
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 26 Issue 4

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This study undertook to measure important goals and their persistence over time for young men and women belonging to two age groups using a theoretical framework derived from recent advances in motivation which links motivation to the self concept. A method for categorising subject goals was adapted from Nuttin (1985), namely the Motivational Content Analysis. The new system for categorising goals can be useful to psychologists, vocational counsellors, etc. Results of the study indicated that females had more persisting goals than men, and that there were significant main effects for sex in persisting goal types of Physical, Character, Autonomy, Intimacy and Contact in General with others. Sex × age interaction effects were found for Character and Autonomy, with 20‐year‐old females obtaining significantly higher scores for these persisting goals than other groups. Findings are discussed in terms of gender identity, and what Nuttin (1984) calls “crossroads” in adult development.

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