Research Library

Immigrant adolescents are generally more ambitious but not as likely to achieve their career/occupational aspirations as their peers. The present study draws on self-discrepancy and social identity literatures to define and explore the role of mismatches between ethnic and aspiration-related ideal selves. In two samples recruited in Canada, 73% of immigrant adolescents aspired to a university-bound career (e.g., physician, engineer). As expected, adolescents reporting larger ethnic/ideal self-discrepancies were less engaged towards their aspiration (Sample 1, n = 73) and viewed school less favorably (Sample 2, n = 125). The present analyses suggest that actual/ideal self-discrepancies mediate these associations, thus extending prior findings and highlighting the role of self-discrepancies in immigrant adolescents’ experiences.