Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


Reader 1

Roberto Pedace

Reader 2

Jennifer Groscup


This study will focus on the ways in which negative stigma and stereotyping impact career choices in young adults. Students from all over the United States will be asked to fill out four questionnaires over a 15-year period, starting at the age of 10 and ending at 25. The questionnaires will measure the academic track of each student, as well as their feelings toward education and earning a degree. Transcripts and school demographics will also be collected. This is a replication of the longitudinal design from a study completed by the National Center for Education Statistics in 2002, but over a longer period and with a stronger focus on psychological effects. Using past data from the original study, it was found that level of postsecondary education and socioeconomic status (SES) are statistically significant in predicting a student’s income for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and those who are in the lowest or highest quartile of SES. This indicates that students of a lower SES are more likely to be discouraged from pursuing higher education and consequently a higher income. The results of this were used to propose a secondary study which will use a logistic regression with factors of stigma and discrimination as the predictor variables and the probability of pursuing postsecondary education as the dependent variable. Future research is required to further understand the premarket discrimination and psychological effects involved in decision-making and career choices.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.