The study is aimed to explore personality factors in the coordination of family and professional careers by young people. The urgency of the problem is due to the contradiction between the high social prestige of personal professional self-realization and the objectively low social significance of parenthood. The Technique of incomplete sentences; World Assumptions Scale (in modification M. Padun and A.Kotelnikova); technique of life-meaning orientations (D.A. Leontiev) were used. The study involved 211 girls aged 19 to 21 years old. Four strategies for coordinating professional and family careers were identified: a family career priority strategy (30.3%); a strategy of harmonious combination of professional and family career (45%); the strategy of conformity to social expectations to the traditional gender role (11.4%); the strategy professional career priority when rejecting a family career (13.3%). Basic assumptions in a group with a family career priority strategy are characterized by the highest ratings of the world as fair, confidence in a person’s ability to control what is happening to him; faith in good luck and positive self. In the group with the strategy of harmonious combination of professional and family careers in comparison with the group with the strategy of the priority of professional career, higher scores for the same scales were found. The highest meaningfulness of life, including the perception of one’s life as interesting and meaningful, satisfaction with self-realization and confidence in the ability to control one’s life, was found for a group with a family career priority strategy.
Keywords: Adulthoodbasic beliefscoordination of professional and family careersmeaningfulness of life
In the modern information society, the specifics of the social situation of development - the rapid growth of scientific knowledge and technology, the high rate of change associated with the introduction of innovations in all spheres of production and social life, informatization, robotics, automation, put forward new requirements for the professional development of the individual. These are the requirements for continuous professional growth and improvement, a willingness to uncertainty and the ability to act in the face of rapid social and economic changes, an ever-widening gap between education and the profession, which makes “retraining” necessary, willingness to master new professions, high variability of professional development, reflected in a variety of types of professional careers. The high level of requirements necessarily increases the time for vocational training and adaptation and urgently requires the individual to be able to plan his professional development and to build his professional career effectively and consciously. At the same time, the creation of a family, preparation for parenthood and the mastering the parental position become an urgent task of development in youth. The relevance of the research problem is due to the contradiction between the high social prestige of professional self-realization of an individual and the objectively low social significance of parenthood and the difficulties in realizing the maternal and paternal role in raising a child. In modern society with high uncertainty the period of youth is considered as the period of mastering the profession and the start of a successful professional career. To do this, the young man must foresee the tasks of professional growth and development in his life plans. The flip side of the coin is a decrease in the birth rate, an increase in “delayed” parenthood, the prevalence of disharmonious types of family education, an increase in social orphanhood, deviant motherhood and fatherhood. An increase in the number of childless families in which the status of “family without children” (the prevalence of the “child-free” movement) is a conscious choice of spouses or a delayed decision on the birth of children, due to the tasks of completing vocational education, pursuing a career, difficult financial and economic situation of the family or housing problems, often develops into a final decision to live without children, "for their own sake", which later leads to the realization of insufficient self-realization and a deep personal crisis. An increase in the number of childless families in which the status of “family without children” (the prevalence of the “child-free” movement) is a conscious choice of spouses or a delayed decision on the birth of children, due to the tasks of completing vocational education, pursuing a career, difficult financial and economic situation of the family or housing problems, often develops into a final decision to live without children, "for their own sake", which later leads to the realization of insufficient self-realization and a deep personal crisis. Parenthood is increasingly becoming "late" due to the recognition by a person of the priority of career development or a stable hedonistic orientation. The disharmony of the family education system brings forth the various forms of the form of deviant parenthood - abuse and rejection, neglect, hypoprotection, authoritarian-directive parenthood, and inconsistent education. In response to the challenges of modern society - the demographic challenge, the need for continuous professional self-improvement, the risks of disruption of intergenerational communication, including between parents and children, it is necessary to study the psychological conditions that determine the possibility of a harmonious combination of professional and family careers by young people. The study of personality factors that determine the effective coordination of professional careers and family careers by young people who determine their life plans in the family and professional spheres is of particular relevance.
The period of adulthood is sensitive for building life plans in the long term, including strategies and plans for professional and family careers. The study of life plans in the time perspective was done in the works of L.I. Bozhovich, A.M. Prikhozhan, N.N. Tolstykh, refering to adolescence, while the period of youth as an age of real self-determination in the professional and family sphere is not sufficiently studied. The need to establish priorities in the implementation of professional and family careers and coordinate goals and development vectors in each of these areas is the age specificity of this period. The task of a professional career at this age is to determine the direction of professional activity on the basis of higher education. The need to create a family, according to Erikson, is one of the reasons for the psychosocial crisis that characterizes the period of early maturity or youth (20-25 years) (as cited in Erikson & Erikson, 1998). Havighurst (1972), in his description of the human life cycle, indicates that the choice of a spouse, the beginning of family life, and the development of the ability to live with a marriage partner are the main developmental tasks in early youth and in emerging adulthood. The psychological criterion for the onset of early adulthood is such a major event in the life of a “normal person” as the creation of one’s own family and parenthood (Abramova, 1997). The attitude of modern youth to family values has changed significantly. In the system of value orientations, there is a low prestige of motherhood and fatherhood, an increasingly frequent choice by spouses of a model of a childless family (Akutina, 2015). An increase in the importance of values of personal autonomy, a high professional status and career, professional self-realization, increased craving for welfare and a high level of consumption, which impedes the choice of a parental role by a young man was revealed (Gricaj, 2011). The desire for equality of gender roles, the accessibility of higher education and career advancement opportunities for both sexes leads to the fact that the value of parenthood for girls begins to compete with the value of professional and life success (Polivanova, 2015). Confronting self-realization in a career, success, the desire for hedonism, etc. the value of parenthood is declining. Devatih (2006) writes that parenthood is presented to boys and girls as a contradiction between the possibilities of self-realization in this activity and the need for sacrifice and self-denial. The research results indicate the rejection of the role of the parent due to unwillingness to limit their personal freedom, abandon the existing lifestyle, put in jeopardy a successful career (Peterson & Engwall, 2013).
What are the types of correlation of professional and family careers in girls during emerging adulthood?
How do personality factors - the system of basic beliefs and the meaningfulness of life determine the coordination of personal professional and family careers?
Purpose of the Study
The goal: the study of personality factors in the coordination of family and professional careers by young people during adulthood tasks; identification of a strategy for the coordination of family and professional careers in the life plans of young people; revealing the connection of basic beliefs that determine the personal image of the world and oneself in the world in building a strategy for coordinating professional and family careers; the study of the connection of meaningfulness of life and strategies for coordinating professional and family careers.
Methods and techniques were used in the study: Technique “Incomplete sentences”, World Assumptions Scale, based on the basic assumptions methodology (Janoff-Bulman, 1989) in modification (Padun & Kotelnikova, 2008) , Test of meaning-life orientations. The study involved 211 girls aged 19 to 21 years old, students of 3-5 courses.
Strategies for coordinating professional and family careers
As a result of the analysis of the data of the “Incomplete sentences” methodology, 4 strategies for coordinating professional and family careers among our respondents were identified. The first strategy was named family career priority (30.3% of respondents). Here, the focus of respondents' life plans is on family and motherhood plans. The second strategy, chosen by almost half of the respondents (45%) - a harmonious combination of professional and family careers implied the priority of completing higher education and the beginning of a professional career with the high importance of creating a family. Respondents considered the creation of a family and the birth of a child as goals in the medium-term perspective. The third strategy can be designated as a strategy of conformity to social expectations (11.4%). This strategy was distinguished by the fact that, with sufficient interest in the professional career, female respondents believed that the success of a family career was the most significant indicator of their success in life. At the same time, parenthood caused anxiety as a factor hindering the implementation of professional plans. The fourth strategy, which is preferred by 13.3% of respondents, is the priority of a professional career and the rejection of a family career (Table
Differences in basic assumptions among groups of respondents implementing various strategies for coordinating professional and family careers
Respondents with a family career priority strategy, compared with girls who seek a harmonious combination of careers, are characterized by higher indicators of basic assumptions on the scales of faith in the justice of the world (hereinafter the T-criterion, p = 0.01), positive self-attitude (p = 0.038), faith in luck (p = 0.005), the ability to control the world (p = 0.003). Respondents with a family career priority strategy, in comparison with subjects with a professional career priority strategy, also find statistically significant higher results on all scales of basic beliefs – faith in the justice of the world (hereinafter T-criterion, p = 0.00), a positive self ( p = 0.00), luck (p = 0.000), the controllability of the world (p = 0.038). Respondents with a family career priority show a higher indicator of belief in luck (p = 0.026) than girls who implement a strategy for conformity to social expectations. Respondents with a harmonious combination of professional and family careers, compared with a group of girls with a career priority, are characterized by higher perceptions of the world as based on benevolence (p =0.001) and justice (p = 0.019), positive self-attitude (p = 0.003) and faith in luck (p = 0.029). Compared to the respondents with the priority of a professional career, respondents who implement the strategy of conformity to social expectations are characterized by higher values of faith in the justice of the world (p = 0.039) and positive self-attitude (p = 0.008). Results are presented in table
The meaningfulness of life among respondents with various strategies for combining professional and family careers
Differences in higher assessments of the meaningfulness of respondents' lives with the family career priority strategy, as compared to the strategy of harmonious combination of professional and family careers and the professional career priority strategy, were revealed for scales “life process and emotional richness of life (p = 0.017 for a harmonious strategy and p = 0.031 for the strategy of the priority of a professional career), life productivity and satisfaction with self-realization (p = 0.012 and p = 0.012, respectively), control and manageability of life (P = 0.014 and p = 0.002, respectively), as well as a general indicator of meaningfulness of life in the present and past (p = 0.032 and p = 0.028). Significantly higher estimates of the meaningfulness of life among respondents with a family career priority, as compared to a group with a strategy for conformity to social expectations, were revealed the process of life and emotional richness of life (p = 0.045), life performance and satisfaction with self-realization (p = 0.031), locus were obtained on a scale control I (p = 0.007), control and controllability of life (p = 0.027) and the general indicator of meaningfulness in life (p = 0.029) (Table
The results of the study of the options for coordinating family and professional careers in girls at the stage of emerging adulthood became the basis for identifying 4 types of strategies. The strategy of a harmonious combination of family and professional careers had the highest frequency. This confirms the assertion that modern girls strive for the most complete self-realization in both areas - both in the professional and in the field of family and parenthood. Family career priority strategy has become the second most frequent. Less often, young women prefer a priority strategy for a professional career and a strategy of conformity to social expectations, which manifests itself in an orientation toward the implementation of the traditional gender role of mother and hostess at home. We suggested that the system of basic assumptions that determine a person’s worldview will form the basis of life plans and, accordingly, will differ among respondents accordingly to strategies. Our results allow us to conclude that the implicit picture of the world in girls with a family career priority strategy is characterized by the highest confidence in perceiving the world as fair, in which: everyone receives what he deserves and deserves what he receives; the belief that a person can control what is happening to him; confidence in luck and positive self and self-esteem as a conviction of the value and significance of one’s self. A comparative analysis of the worldview of a group of girls with a strategy of harmonious combining professional and family careers in comparison with a group with a professional career priority strategy reveals that the first group also has higher rates of basic beliefs in the justice of the world, the ability to control one’s life and faith in good luck, personal conviction that she deserves love, respect and recognition. The lowest indicators of basic beliefs were found in a group of girls implementing a strategy for the priority of a professional career and rejection of a family one. The high meaningfulness of life, including the perception of one’s life as being interesting and filled with meaning, satisfaction with self-realization and confidence in the ability to control one’s life, was revealed in a group that preferred a family career priority strategy. At the same time, the general meaningfulness of life is significantly higher among the respondents of the group with the priority of a family career. The results obtained indicate that a positive picture of the world, an emotional richness of life, a positive self-concept, and a sense of control and management of life form the basis of a family career preference. There are two points to explain this fact. 1. The developmental task at this age stage is to build love relationships and psychological intimacy and create a family. The solution to this developmental task is based on the belief that the world and myself are harmonious and fair. 2. Respondents are at the start of their professional career; therefore, a professional career is a distant time perspective for them, compared to building close interpersonal relationships. Thus, strategies for the priority of family careers and the harmonious combination of professional and family careers were identified in young women with a high level of psychological well-being. This confirms the importance of the sphere of family life among modern girls and their orientation towards the implementation of a family career. The prospect of further research is the study of gender differences in the choice of a strategy for harmonizing professional and family careers.
This research was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research under the project 20-013-00819.
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15 November 2020
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Psychology, personality, virtual, personality psychology, identity, virtual identity, digital space
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Karabanova, O. A., & Zakharova, E. I. (2020). Personal Factors Of Coordination Of Profssional And Family Career In Youth. In T. Martsinkovskaya, & V. Orestova (Eds.), Psychology of Personality: Real and Virtual Context, vol 94. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 353-360). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.11.02.43