ERIC Number: ED186295
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Sep
A Lifespan Perspective on Adults' Achievement and Life Quality.
Steel, Lauri; Wise, Lauress L.
This paper explores how life course organization influences overall life quality and achievement, with emphasis on achievement differences between men and women. Life course organization refers to the level, timing, sequencing, and continuity of educational, occupational, marital, childbearing, and other commitments made by an individual over a lifespan. Findings from existing research on the educational/occupational attainment process generally indicate that women obtain fewer years of education than men and receive lower pay for similar jobs, even when the amount of education is controlled. Hypotheses are that variations in educational and work histories directly affect subsequent achievement and that the greater variability in life course patterns among women is related to women's lower achievement in adulthood. The sample (2,010 males and 2,025 females) was based on data from a longitudinal study in which over 400,000 men and women who were in high school in 1960 were questioned at ages 19, 23, and 29 regarding their family backgrounds, cognitive skills, knowledge levels, interests, and plans. Findings indicated clear sex differences in continuity of schooling and work between high school and age 29, negative impact on income from work interruptions (mostly by women), and persistence of sex effects on job prestige and income in spite of controls. The conclusion is that the continuity of schooling and work do have some value for explaining differences in subsequent achievement between men and women. (DB)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adults, Career Choice, Career Development, Comparative Analysis, Education Work Relationship, Educational Benefits, Educational Status Comparison, Females, Longitudinal Studies, Males, Quality of Life, Sex Differences, Sex Role, Social Science Research, Socioeconomic Influences
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, CA.
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (Toronto, Canada, September 1978).