Adaptation of career goals to self and opportunities in early adolescence

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Development of career goals that are adapted to self and opportunities is a central component of adolescent career preparation. The present longitudinal study (conducted throughout the eighth grade with three assessment points) investigated how 330 Swiss adolescents simultaneously adapt career goals to interests, scholastic achievement and environmental opportunities. Results demonstrated that students increasingly adapt their goals to the environment. Mean adaptation to environment related positively to degree of adaption to interests and achievement. Increased adaptation to environment over time related to increased adaptation to achievement but to decreased adaptation to interests. Gender, attended school type and nationality moderated adaptation processes. Structurally disadvantaged students (girls, lower requirements school track, immigrant students) reported more conflict in aligning adaptation to environment with adaptation to interests.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)120-128
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 10.2009
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Gender and Diversity - Vocational aspirations, Adolescence, Career goals, Goal adaption, School-to-work transition