Ambition Gone Awry: The Long-Term Socioeconomic Consequences of Misaligned and Uncertain Ambitions in Adolescence

Sabates, Ricardo, Harris, Angel L and Staff, Jeremy (2011) Ambition Gone Awry: The Long-Term Socioeconomic Consequences of Misaligned and Uncertain Ambitions in Adolescence. Social Society Quarterly, 92 (4). pp. 959-977. ISSN 0038-4941

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Abstract

Objective
The objective of this study was to investigate whether misaligned or uncertain ambitions in adolescence influence the process of socioeconomic attainment.

Methods
Using 34 years of longitudinal data from the British Cohort Study (BCS70), we considered whether youth with (1) misaligned ambitions (i.e., those who either over- or underestimate the level of education required for their desired occupation), (2) both low occupational aspirations and educational expectations (low-aligned ambitions), and (3) uncertainty with regard to their future occupations (uncertain ambitions) at age 16 experienced more unemployment spells, lower educational attainment, and lower hourly wages in adulthood compared to youth with high occupational aspirations and educational expectations (high-aligned ambitions).

Results
Youth who hold misaligned or uncertain aspirations show long-term deficits in employment stability and educational attainment, which in turn leads to lower wage attainments at age 34.

Conclusion
Misaligned and uncertain ambitions in adolescence compromise the construction of life paths and the realization of long-term educational and occupational goals.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ0503 The Family. Marriage. Home > HQ0793 Youth. Adolescents. Teenagers
Depositing User: Cecilia Kimani
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2012 12:26
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2012 08:23
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/40304
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