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Johnson, Monica Kirkpatrick & Monserud, Maria A. (2010). Judgments about Work and the Features of Young Adults’ Jobs. Work and Occupations, 37(2), 194-224. PMCID: PMC2926996


This study revisits the relationship between adolescent judgments about work and later job characteristics, tackling the twin temporal dimensions of age and history. Drawing on 15 consecutive cohorts of high school seniors, the authors examine (a) whether adolescents’ judgments about work become more strongly predictive of the characteristics of their jobs as they move through their 20s and (b) whether the relationship between adolescents’ judgments about work and their later job characteristics has weakened across cohorts of high school seniors between 1976 and 1990. Findings indicate a limited role of history; the larger life course story of these findings is tied to age. Adolescent judgments about work, measured in the senior year of high school, became more predictive of earnings with age during this period of the life course. They were also most predictive of the level of intrinsic job characteristics at the oldest age examined, but the pattern was not one of progressive strengthening with age as it was for earnings.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Work and Occupations


Johnson, Monica Kirkpatrick
Monserud, Maria A.