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Author: Mirowsky, John
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Lewis, Susan Kay
Ross, Catherine E.
Mirowsky, John
Establishing a Sense of Personal Control in the Transition to Adulthood
Social Forces 77,4 (June 1999): 1573-1599.
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Keyword(s): Adolescent Behavior; Cognitive Ability; Control; Dropouts; Locus of Control (see Rotter Scale); Pregnancy and Pregnancy Outcomes; Teenagers

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

This study tests the hypothesis that the high sense of personal control enjoyed by adult Americans develops during the transition to adulthood. Analyses use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), which interviewed respondents in 1979 who were between the ages of 14 and 22 and again in 1992 when they were between 27 and 35. Cross-sectional analyses show a positive slope of perceived control with respect to age in the range from 14 through 22. Dropping out of school dampens the increase. It further reduces perceptions of control prospectively, net of control at time 1. Getting pregnant or getting a partner pregnant does not flatten the slope and does not affect later adulthood perceptions of control, except indirectly if it leads to dropping out of school. Adolescent sense of control correlates positively with parental education and the adolescent's cognitive skill, and cognitive skill increases the trajectory for young men but not for young women. Both factors predict more positive changes in the sense of control in the period between adolescence and middle age. A low sense of control at the beginning of the follow-up period does not increase the risk of subsequently dropping out of school, but it does increase the risk of a subsequent nonmarital pregnancy.
Bibliography Citation
Lewis, Susan Kay, Catherine E. Ross and John Mirowsky. "Establishing a Sense of Personal Control in the Transition to Adulthood." Social Forces 77,4 (June 1999): 1573-1599.