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ERIC Number: EJ1005886
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0001-8791
University Students' Causal Conceptions about Social Mobility: Diverging Pathways for Believers in Personal Merit and Luck
Shane, Jacob; Heckhausen, Jutta
Journal of Vocational Behavior, v82 n1 p10-19 Feb 2013
Many college students hold ambitious goals for upward social mobility via post-college careers. However, in the current economic recession such optimistic expectations are not a given. The present study examines how college students' current social status and beliefs in causal factors for socioeconomic status (SES) attainment lead to diverging goal-engagement and goal-disengagement promoting pathways that influence expectations for future SES attainment. Data from an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of 419 university students are analyzed. Most study participants expected to attain a significantly higher level of SES than their parents. Moreover, we identified two pathways of SES-related beliefs, goal engagement or disengagement, and goal attainment. An engagement-promoting pathway consisting of meritocratic-oriented causal beliefs and increased goal engagement tendencies was associated with higher expected personal SES. Conversely, a disengagement-promoting pathway consisted of luck-oriented causal beliefs and enhanced goal disengagement tendencies along with decreased expected personal SES. College students' current social status, causal conceptions about SES and goal engagement/disengagement tendencies fully mediate the relationship between perceptions of one's own family of origin's SES and one's expected personal SES. (Contains 1 figure and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A