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Adaptive adjustment of vocational aspirations among German youths during the transition from school to work


Tomasik, Martin J; Hardy, Sam; Haase, Claudia M; Heckhausen, Jutta (2009). Adaptive adjustment of vocational aspirations among German youths during the transition from school to work. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 74(1):38-46.

Abstract

The transition from school to work is a central developmental task with long-term implications for the financial and social status of individuals. We argue that dynamic adjustments of aspirations play a decisive role for a successful outcome of the school to work transition, particularly in the context of the German vocational training system. Latent growth curve analyses conducted on the self-reported occupational aspirations of German adolescents (N = 414) surveyed in a 5-wave longitudinal study during their senior school year support this assumption. Based on expectancy-value-models of achievement, we delineated an adaptive trajectory of aspirations as starting off with relatively high aspirations and subsequently gradually downgrading them until s is attained. Such a trajectory of adjustment should maximize both expectancy (i.e., probability of obtaining an apprenticeship position at all) and value (i.e., training position with promotion potential). Finally, we showed empirically that the trajectory conceptually proposed as most adaptive was characteristic for youth who reported phase-adequate goal engagement strategies as suggested by the life-span theory of control. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Abstract

The transition from school to work is a central developmental task with long-term implications for the financial and social status of individuals. We argue that dynamic adjustments of aspirations play a decisive role for a successful outcome of the school to work transition, particularly in the context of the German vocational training system. Latent growth curve analyses conducted on the self-reported occupational aspirations of German adolescents (N = 414) surveyed in a 5-wave longitudinal study during their senior school year support this assumption. Based on expectancy-value-models of achievement, we delineated an adaptive trajectory of aspirations as starting off with relatively high aspirations and subsequently gradually downgrading them until s is attained. Such a trajectory of adjustment should maximize both expectancy (i.e., probability of obtaining an apprenticeship position at all) and value (i.e., training position with promotion potential). Finally, we showed empirically that the trajectory conceptually proposed as most adaptive was characteristic for youth who reported phase-adequate goal engagement strategies as suggested by the life-span theory of control. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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21 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2009
Deposited On:22 Jul 2014 14:53
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:59
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0001-8791
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2008.10.003

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