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Author: curdy, brent harrison
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Curdy, Brent Harrison
The Risk of Unrealistic Optimism: When Expectations and Aspirations Don’t Match
Presented: Chicago IL, American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 2015
Cohort(s): NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: American Sociological Association
Keyword(s): Depression (see also CESD); Educational Aspirations/Expectations; Expectations/Intentions

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Research shows that discrepancy between expectations and attainment is associated with lower levels of subjective well-being (Michalos 1985) and increased depressive symptoms (Reynolds and Baird 2010). However, attainment cannot be used as a reference for expectations during transitional periods when individuals will have goals but will not have had the time or opportunity to attain them. Therefore, this study redefines "discrepancy" as having unequal expectations and aspirations and analyzes the relationship between the number of depressive symptoms and unequal educational expectations and aspirations of youths between the ages of 15-26 undergoing the transition to adulthood. Data are taken from the NLSY79 Young Adults sample from 1994, 1996, and 1998. Statistical analyses use the diagonal reference model from social mobility theory to resolve the statistical "identification problem" inherent in analyses of discrepancy measures. I find that those with an educational expectation-aspiration discrepancy have nearly twice as many depressive symptoms as someone whose educational expectations and aspirations are equal. These findings qualify prior research that suggests high expectations have a positive mental effect by showing that those positive effects may only occur if expectations are seen as attainable.
Bibliography Citation
Curdy, Brent Harrison. "The Risk of Unrealistic Optimism: When Expectations and Aspirations Don’t Match." Presented: Chicago IL, American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 2015.