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Johnson, Monica Kirkpatrick (2002). Social Origins, Adolescent Experiences, and Work Value Trajectories during the Transition to Adulthood. Social Forces, 80(4), 1307-1340.


This study links the trajectories of adolescents' work values during the transition to adulthood to key indicators of social origin and early experience. The findings, based on panel data from a national sample, indicate that individuals' work values change substantially during this period of the life course, with "average trajectories" of work values indicating some growing realism with age. Furthermore, work value trajectories are systematically tied to social origin and early experience, with gender and race playing a particularly important role both in initial adolescent work values and in changes that occur across the young adult years. The work values of young black women, for example, changed the most as they came to terms with their occupational opportunities.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Forces


Johnson, Monica Kirkpatrick