Gender differences among Dutch adolescents’ future orientations and the mediating role of self-esteem and perceived gender discrimination
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Although previous research on adolescents’ future orientations exists, this cross-sectional study is one of the first to focus on gender differences on this topic, distinguishing between two aspects of future orientations concerning future expectations and future emotions. Additionally, it tests whether self-esteem and the perception of gender discrimination are possible underlying mechanisms for these differences. The data was obtained from the YOUth Got Talent project among MBO-students older than 16 years in Utrecht (N = 1231). The results show that girls have slightly lower future orientations than boys in term of future expectations, but not in terms of future emotions. Also, it was found that these differences are explained by girls’ lower selfesteem and more frequent experiences of gender discrimination. Although differences are small, the results of this study signal some still existing gender differences in terms of future expectations in a Western society such as the Netherlands, where gender equality is considered high. Scientific and practical implications of the study are discussed.