Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Relationship Between Adolescent Aspirations and Adult Occupational Congruence and Scores of Ego Status, Distress, and Satisfaction
by Austin-Small, Ophelia, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2012, 172; 3536048
Abstract (Summary)

This non-experimental cross-sectional design study examined the relationship between conflict in idealized occupation and attained occupation and scores on measures on distress, ego status, and satisfaction. The study was designed to examine the unanswered question of whether the predictive effects of adolescent aspirations on adult well-being persist through adulthood. Two research questions and four hypotheses were investigated. First, that there existed a significant relationship between ego status scores and conflict in aspirations and later occupation. Second, that a significant relationship existed between distress scores and these two groups. Third, that a significant relationship existed between satisfaction scores these two groups. Finally, that present psychosocial stage age was related with scores on measures of ego status, distress, or satisfaction. There were two predictor variables, psychosocial stage age and aspiration / occupation congruence. The psychosocial stage variable segregated participants into four age-based cohorts. The aspiration / occupation variable had two levels, individuals with either congruent or incongruent adolescent aspirations and adult occupations. The criterion variables of ego status, distress, and satisfaction were measured using the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire, Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale, and Satisfaction With Life Survey. The study questionnaire was delivered online, with a final sample size of 234 native-born, English-speaking, current United States residents over age 22. Data were subject to descriptive, Spearman's correlation, and multiple regression statistics. Results indicated significant relationships between aspiration/occupation congruence and the criterion variables of ego status and distress scores, as well as psychosocial stage and the criterion variables of the Exploration scale of the EIPQ and distress scores. No significant results were found relating to satisfaction. The author concluded that the findings of previous research indicating there was a predictive relationship between similar conflicts and adult well-being three years later could be extended throughout adulthood, and these findings further support and extend the theories of Erikson and Marcia. Recommendations include further longitudinal research, research on satisfaction determinants and measures, and a focus on reasonable and reasoned adolescent career goal development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Clowes, M.
Commitee: Hale, D.
School: Northcentral University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Developmental psychology, Clinical psychology, Personality psychology
Keywords: Aspirations, Distress, Ego status, Erikson, Erik, Identity development, Occupational congruence, Psychosocial
Publication Number: 3536048
ISBN: 978-1-267-91068-4
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