Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Dr. Herbert L. Smith
Dr. Edsel L. Erickson
Dr. James W. Armstrong
Dr. David Adams
This study was an attempt to develop the research concept of occupational-educational maturity, and then test it within a population of ninth-grade, public school students from Grand Rapids, Michigan. This research concept was a composite variable which consisted of the alignment, or goodness of fit, between students' occupational aspirations and their educational expectations. The focus of the study was to determine whether or not students' expected levels of educational attainment or vocational training were appropriate prerequisites for entry into the students' desired occupations. No previous studies have directly addressed this idea, nor have they attempted to measure students' occupational-educational maturity levels.
By using the three independent variables of gender, social status, and ethnic identity, it was hypothesized that a majority of students would exhibit occupational-educational maturity, and that boys, upper-status students, and white students would be more likely than girls, lower-status students, and non-white students to exhibit occupational-educational maturity. Attempts were then made to determine the occupational-educational maturity levels of black and other-minority students, upper-status white students and upper-status non-white students, and lower-status white students and lower-status non-white students.
Based upon these research objectives it was found that: (1) A majority of students exhibit occupational-educational maturity, (2) upper-status students are more likely than lower-status students to exhibit occupational-educational maturity, (3) white students are more likely than non-white students to exhibit occupational-educational maturity, and (4) there are statistically significant differences between the occupational-educational maturity levels of lower-status white students and lower-status non-white students. It was also found that there are no statistically significant differences between the occupational-educational maturity levels of boys and girls, of black students and other minority students, and of upper-status white students and upper-status non-white students. As a result of these calculations and findings it is recommended that future studies of students' occupational-educational maturity levels reformulate research hypotheses to reflect these data.
O'Sullivan, Ralph George, "Occupational-Educational Maturity: A Measure of Career Awareness" (1982). Dissertations. 2522.