STABILITY AND CHANGE OF PERSON - CHARACTERISTICS AMONG YOUNG-ADULTS - THE EFFECT OF THE TRANSITION FROM SCHOOL TO WORK

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Abstract

In this study hypotheses on stability and change of four categories of person characteristics were tested. Subjects were 314 young adults between 18 and 30 years old. They completed a questionnaire and were interviewed in 1987 and in 1991. Measures of person characteristics included traits, attributional style, psychological health/well-being and work values and norms. Two subgroups were studied: (1) Young adults who attended school in 1987 and in 1991 (N = 146); and (2) young adults who made the transition from school in 1987 to work in 1991 (N = 168). Following role theory, it was hypothesized that person characteristics in the second subgroup changed more than in the first subgroup. Moreover, subjects from the second subgroup were expected to experience positive change of characteristics in time, such as increased psychological health/well-being. Using tests of differences in over time correlation coefficients, t-tests and univariate analyses of variance of mean scores at time two, controlling for time one scores and biographical variables, the hypotheses were confirmed by the data. However, the effects were small. Although for some person characteristics changes in mean scores over time were significant in both subgroups, these changes were slightly larger for people who experienced the transition from school to work than for those who stayed in school. It is concluded that the transition from school to work induces extra positive changes in some person characteristics. For example, subjects who made this transition became less susceptible to boredom, and scored lower on depression and neuroticism over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-99
Number of pages11
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1995

Keywords

  • UNSATISFACTORY EMPLOYMENT
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS
  • LIFE SCALE
  • UNEMPLOYMENT
  • SOCIALIZATION
  • SATISFACTION
  • SAMPLE
  • JOBS

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