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PSYC 357 (50)
Chapter 10


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PSYC 357
Wendy Thornton

PSYC 357: ADULTHOOD AND AGING CHAPTER 10: WORK, RETIREMENT, AND LEISURE PATTERNS WORK PATTERNS IN ADULTHOOD - Labor force – includes all civilians in the over 16 population who live outside of institutions (prisons, nursing homes, residential treatment centers) and have sought r are actively seeking employment - 2010: total civilian noninstitutionalized population over 16 amounted to 236.8 million people and of these 65% were in the labor force - Unemployment rates higher for blacks or African Americans (16.5%) and those of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity (12.6%) than for whites (8.7%) and Asians (8.4%) - People with a college education are far more likely to be employed than people with a HS education - Predicted that by 2018 the size of the 55 and older workforce will rise from 18.1% to 23.9% - Age group is a factor in income o Highest income earned by men in the 45-64 age group o Highest income earned by women in the 55-64 age group - Women comprise 46.5% of the labor force in the US - Despite their increasing involvement in the labor force, women still earn less than men, a fact referred to as the gender gap o As of late 2009, full time women earned 81.2% of the median for men o Gender gap highest among whites (79.9%) and lowest among blacks (93.4%) o Gender gap particularly pronounced in the 55-64 age group who earn 78.7% of the income of men in the same age bracket o In the highest paid sector of the job market the discrepancy is greater with women earning only about 74% of the salaries of men - College degree o In the US, those holding a college degree earned $1,121 per week compared to the $638 earned by HS graduates o Education alone does not account for earning potential: black and Hispanic workers typically have lower earnings than do whites VOCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT - A person’s choice of vocation (occupation) reflects personal preferences and interests - Vocational development theories are based on the premise that individual choice plays a large role in determining choice of career HOLLAND’S VOCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT THEORY - According to Holland’s Vocational Development Theory, vocal aspirations and interests are the direct expression of the individual’s personality - Proposed that there are six fundamental types (also called codes) that represent the universe of all possible vocational interests, competencies and behaviors. Each type is identified by its initial letter (RIASEC model): o Realistic (R) o Investigative (I) o Artistic (A) o Social (S) o Enterprising (E) o Conventional (C) o Six types organized theoretically to exist in a hexagonal structure  Implies that the types have a relationship to each other based on their distance from each other on the structure  Most similar types such as R and C are closest and the most different such as C and A are furthest away from each other  Notion of the hexagon is important because it helps define the way that your interests correspond to your environments  You will be most satisfied when your job/you are in an environment that fits your personality type  situation called congruence  Due to job scarcity, people cannot always find jobs congruent with their interests  In these cases people must take whatever work they can find and seek congruence elsewhere through leisure pursuits instead of through work (ex: after work the artistic type can do arts and crafts at home) - Occupations reflect particular patterns of job requirements and rewards that are characteristic of their environments - Serve as the settings that elicit, develop and reward the specific interests, competencies and behaviors associated with each of the types - Occupational types are the same as interest types (ex: social work involves work with people and realistic work involves work with hands) - In the RIASEC types, combinations of tow or three initials are usually assigned rather than just one - First letter reflects the primary type into which a persons interest or occupation falls - Second and third letters allow for a more accurate and differentiated picture of the individual or occupation o Example: Construction worker  REC o Example: Corrections officer  RES - Personality descriptions are also thought to characterize each of the six types based on the correspondence between the Holland codes and scores on measures of the Five Factor Model o Translation of RIASEC codes into personality traits works well when facets are used, rather than only the scores on major trait domains o Putting the two together, research suggests three underlying dimensions:  Interest in people VS things  Preference for abstract VS concrete ideas  Striving for personal growth VS striving for accomplishment - Strong Vocational Interest Inventory (SVII) - Consists of items in which respondents indicate their preferences for occupations, topics of study, activities, and types of people - Self Directed Search (SDS) - Provides an assessment along the RIASEC dimensions, but also asks about your strengths, allowing you to determine the profile of your abilities as well as your interests - O*NET, the Occupational Information Network – online interactive national database of occupations used by vocational placement agencies and state labor departments in the US o Provides a comprehensive and searchable database of occupations along with important data such as salary and expected growth SUPER’S SELF-CONCEPT THEORY - The desire for adults to achieve full realization of their inner potential is at the heart of Super’s self-concept theory - In contrast to Holland’s theory which emphasizes vocational preferences (ex: the fact that you prefer artistic work), Super’s theory places the focus on the occupation that you see as most “true” to your inner self - Super’s theory also takes into consideration the constraints of the marketplace mean that people are not always able to achieve full realization of their self-concepts (ex: in a society with less demand for artists, the person with the artistic self concept will need to seek self-expression in a job that allows for a certain degree of creativity but will also bring in a paycheck, perhaps a job in graphic design) - Expression of self-concept through work occurs in stages that span the years from adolescents to retirement o Exploration stage (teens-mid20s) – people explore career alternatives and select a vocation that they will find to be expressive of their self-concept o Establishment stage (mid 20s-mid40s) – people are focused on achieving stability and attempt to remain within the same occupation; at the same time people seek to move up the career ladder to managerial positions and higher o Maintenance stage (mid 40s-mid 50s) – people attempt to hold onto their positions rather than to seek further advancement o Disengagement stage (mid 50s-mid60s) – workers begin to prepare for retirement, perhaps spending more time in their leisure pursuits VARIATIONS IN VOCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT - In the 1950’s the business world tended to involve people employed by one company for their entire careers - Climbing up the career ladder was a typical goal - This model began to change substantially in the 1980s when large corporations began downsizing, particularly after the advent of computerized technology - First variation on the traditional stages of Super: the modern workplace is likely to promote recycling, the process through which workers change their main field of career activity part way into occupational life o Middle age workers may once again find themselves in the establishment stage - Second variation on the traditional stages of Super: when workers remain indefinitely in a maintenance like period, this is referred to as plateauing – although your salary may increase, your job level remains static o People may reach their plateau at a young age if they enter a “dead end job” or if there moves between companies involve lateral changes rather than vertical advancement - Boundaryless career – career that does not follow a set pathway o People are now progressing through their careers at their own pace o People who have this career seek opportunities for development in their jobs - Protean career – the desire to determine your own career path - As changes continue to occur in the workplace and society leading to greater deviation from the standard th organizational framework of the id 20 century, vocational counselors will increasingly offer workers ideas about ways to manage their own careers around internal rather than external goals and employee developed criteria o Desire for employers to reduce employee turnover rates - Model of organizational embededness addresses issue of worker loyalty, Super’s theory provides a framework for helping to maximize the sense of commitment among employees Stage Organizational (company) Occupational (ex: Both accountant) Establishment - Organizational socialization - Generalizable skills - Social ties (mentoring) - Mentorship - Organization specific skills (training) - Work hours (favorable hours) Maintenance - Opportunity to develop management - Accumulation of - Career plateauing & leadership responsibilities career attainments - Reconciliation of goal discrepancy - Family status Disengagement - Pension funds and insurance benefits - Leadership role in - Risk aversion profession VOCATIONAL SATISFACTION - Theories and research on vocational satisfaction deal with these questions of how people find enjoyment in the work that they do or, conversely, of what factors limit their ability to achieve an optimal vocational situation - Vocational satisfaction refers to the extent to which a worker has positive views of the job or aspects of a job INTRINSIC AND EXTRINSIC FACTORS - Intrinsic factors – factors inherent in the work itself and include the physical and mental actions that the individual must perform in order to carry out the job o Ex: sculpting involves the intrinsic physical activities of molding clay o
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