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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Psychology

Year Degree Awarded

2016

Month Degree Awarded

September

First Advisor

David G. Scherer

Second Advisor

Harold Grotevant

Third Advisor

Nilanjana Dasgupta

Fourth Advisor

Ryan Wells

Subject Categories

Counseling Psychology

Abstract

Identity development is a particularly salient developmental task that begins to take form during adolescence, and consolidation of multiple domains of identity is necessary for achieving successful outcomes in adulthood (Erikson, 1968). The purpose of this study was to examine the role of an ascribed adoptive identity on the individualization of one’s chosen career identity. Adoptive identity was examined using both individual and family-level factors, and career identity was measured across adolescence, emerging adulthood, and adulthood. The present study used a sub-sample of adoptees, adoptive mothers, and adoptive fathers from an ongoing longitudinal research study, the Minnesota/Texas Adoption Research Program (MTARP; Grotevant, McRoy, Wrobel, & Ayers-Lopez, 2013). All adoptions were domestic, same-race, and none were special needs. There were four waves of data collected since the mid-1980s through 2015, and present study data were used from three different time points, Waves 2, 3, and 4, collected during 1996-2001, 2005-2008, and 2012-2014, respectively. The adoptive families were recruited through 35 U.S. adoption agencies, and the target adopted child was adopted before his or her first birthday. To address gaps in the literature on emerging adults not enrolled in post-secondary education, this study included both college and non-college adopted individuals. Latent factor scores were used in regression models, to test mediation and conditional process models of career development. Findings indicated that years of parental education and adolescent age were positively associated with adolescent career exploration. Career exploration during adolescence was negatively related to adult career achievement, whereas career adaptability during emerging adulthood was positively related to adult career achievement. Career exploration during adolescence was not related to career adaptability during emerging adulthood. The relationships found between adolescent career exploration, emerging adult career adaptability, and career achievement in adulthood, were not different by post-secondary enrollment. Based on the study findings, increased emphasis on career adaptability behaviors during emerging adulthood may help individuals benefit later in adulthood in terms of their career achievement outcomes. Additional analyses were conducted using a different data reduction technique and less data imputation. These analyses showed very similar findings.

Supplemental_Table 6 Correlation of Career Exploration, Adaptability, and Achievement indicators at Waves 2, 3, 4.docx (17 kB)
Supplemental_Table 6 Correlation of Career Exploration, Adaptability, and Achievement indicators at Waves 2, 3, 4

Supplemental_Table A.4 Correlation of Career Exploration, Adaptability, and Achievement indicators at Waves 2, 3, 4.docx (17 kB)
Supplemental_Table A.4 Correlation of Career Exploration, Adaptability, and Achievement indicators at Waves 2, 3, 4

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