Reinforcement or compensation? The effects of parents' work and financial conditions on adolescents' work values during the Great Recession

Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson, Jeylan T. Mortimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Great Recession brought many changes to the work and financial lives of American families. Little is known, however, about how changes in parental work conditions in recessionary times influence children's vocational development. Drawing on data from the Youth Development Study, we examine whether parents' recessionary experiences shape adolescents' work values. The findings indicate that adolescents' work values are shaped through a cross-generational reinforcement model; both extrinsic and intrinsic values are stronger when parental work conditions are more rewarding. In an exception to this pattern, unemployment among parents with low levels of education (high school degrees or less) is positively associated with children's extrinsic and intrinsic orientations, more consistent with a compensation model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-100
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Volume87
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

Keywords

  • Great Recession
  • Intergenerational transmission
  • Job insecurity
  • Job quality
  • Work values

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