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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Instrumental competency socialization and young adult occupational aspirations : perceptions of independence and achievement orientation in the family environment Turner, T. Johanna H.


As an adjunct to Young and Friesen's (1990) research into parental influences on young adult career development, this study used hierarchical cluster analysis of the Independence and Achievement Orientation subscales of the Family Environment Scale (Moos & Moos, 1986) to identify groups of subjects sharing similar, perceptions of instrumental competency socialization within their families of origin. Critical incidents (Flanagan, 1954) describing child-parent interactions were garnered in semistructured interviews with 50 young adults. This information was used to generate descriptive profiles of child-parent inteactions and patterns of occupational choice within each of six distinct clusters identified by the cluster analysis procedure. One way Analyses of Variance (ANOVAs) revealed significant between cluster differences. Qualitative descriptions of child-parent transactions revealed gender differences in perceived patterns of socialization within two clusters and aspects of competency enhancing socialization in three clusters. Young adult subjects of both genders tended to gravitate towards mid and upper status male-typed and gender neutral occupational choices while young men, consistent with earlier research findings, avoided aspiring towards female-typed career choices.

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