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ERIC Number: EJ919025
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7732
Uncertainty in Early Occupational Aspirations: Role Exploration or Aimlessness?
Staff, Jeremy; Harris, Angel; Sabates, Ricardo; Briddell, Laine
Social Forces, v89 n2 p659-683 Dec 2010
Many youth in the United States lack clear occupational aspirations. This uncertainty in achievement ambitions may benefit socio-economic attainment if it signifies "role exploration," characterized by career development, continued education and enduring partnerships. By contrast, uncertainty may diminish attainment if it instead leads to "aimlessness," involving prolonged education without the acquisition of a degree, residential dependence and frequent job changes. We use nationally representative data from the National Education Longitudinal Study to examine how uncertainty in occupational aspirations in adolescence (age 16) affects wage attainments in young adulthood (age 26). Results suggest that youth with undecided career ambitions earn significantly lower hourly wages in young adulthood than youth with more certain aspirations, supporting the view that uncertainty heightens the risk of labor-market problems. (Contains 2 notes and 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States