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A longitudinal study of a developmental-centextual model of work values during adolescence

by Porfeli, Erik J.

Abstract (Summary)
I employ data from a sample of participants examined longitudinally from the 9th to the 12th grade and regression-based statistics to examine the development of work values and their mutual dependence with part-time work experiences during the high school period. Work values are presumed to be organized within a value system and to be distinguished both in terms of the nature of the work (e.g., part-time work and careeroriented work values) and in terms of the substance of the work (e.g., mastery, economic, and interpersonal work values). The substance of work experiences is presumed to be conceptually grouped in a similar fashion (e.g., part-time mastery, economic, and interpersonal work experiences). I propose and test discrepancy- and cohesion mechanisms to explain and predict work value stability, change, and development and a dynamic model of work values and experience to explain and predict the co-dependence of values and experience during the high school years. The results generally support four general findings. First, values appear to be durable means of evaluation that are organized within a systems framework. Second, the proposed discrepancy reduction and cohesion mechanisms appear to prompt and maintain the integrity of the value system and harmony within the person-in-context unit of analysis. Third, the part-time settings open to high school students appear to be a work context that influences the course and development of the value system and the value system appears to influence the selection of work experiences. Finally, person- and context-level variables appear to have a complex but limited influence on the discrepancy reduction and cohesion mechanisms prompting and maintaining the integrity of the value system and the harmony within the person-in-context unit of analysis.
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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