Sociopolitical development, work salience, and vocational expectations among low socioeconomic status African American, Latin American, and Asian American Youth

Matthew A. Diemer, Qiu Wang, Traymanesha Moore, Shannon R. Gregory, Keisha M. Hatcher, Adam M. Voight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

Structural barriers constrain marginalized youths' development of work salience and vocational expectations. Sociopolitical development (SPD), the consciousness of, and motivation to reduce, sociopolitical inequality, may facilitate the negotiation of structural constraints. A structural model of SPD's impact on work salience and vocational expectations was proposed and its generalizability tested among samples of low-socioeconomic-status African American, Latin American, and Asian American youth, with Educational Longitudinal Study data. Measurement and temporal invariance of these constructs was first established before testing the proposed model across the samples. Across the three samples, 10th-grade SPD had significant effects on 10-grade work salience and vocational expectations; 12th-grade SPD had a significant effect on 12th-grade work salience. Tenth-grade SPD had significant indirect effects on 12th-grade work salience and on 12th-grade vocational expectations for all three samples. These results suggest that SPD facilitates the agentic negotiation of constraints on the development of work salience and vocational expectations. Given the impact of adolescent career development on adult occupational attainment, SPD may also foster social mobility among youth constrained by an inequitable opportunity structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-635
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Career development
  • Critical consciousness
  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Racial-ethnic minorities
  • Sociopolitical development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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