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Author: Wityak, Nancy Lynn
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1. Wityak, Nancy Lynn
Occupational Attainment Resources and the Life Cycle Patterns of Young Women
Ph.D. Dissertation, George Washington University, 1982
Cohort(s): Young Women
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Age at First Marriage; Career Patterns; Education; Employment; Life Cycle Research; Marriage; Occupational Attainment; Occupations

This study is directed toward two primary objectives: the identification of ordering patterns characterizing the female transition to adulthood, and the development of models to explain the female occupational attainment process. The transition to adulthood is argued to reflect social expectations in the form of normative patterns for ordering three key life cycle events: completion of full-time education, marriage, and entry into the labor force. Six possible female ordering patterns are hypothesized including a Female Normative pattern and a Male Normative pattern. Young women complete the transition to adulthood according to the Female Normative pattern when they first complete their education, then marry, and last enter the labor force. The Male Normative pattern occurs when young women reverse the order of marriage and entry into the labor force. Using data from the NLS Young Women's cohort (ages 14-24 in 1968), it is demonstrated that the Female Normative pattern most frequently characterizes young women's ordering of transition events, while the Male Normative pattern is the second most frequently evidenced method of ordering events in the transition to adulthood. After establishing the temporal sequence of events, the theoretical possibility that different ordering patterns produce variation in the process of occupational attainment is examined. The findings demonstrate the continuing importance of early attainments as bases for later occupational attainments in both the Female and Male Normative models. The marital family has a greater impact on later occupational attainments in the Female Normative model, and the effects operate primarily through husband's socioeconomic status, the absence of children in the marital family, and post-marital education. Male Normative orderers do obtain significant advantages from husband's socioeconomic status as well. In both models, age at first marriage is found to have a negative effect on occupational attainment in 1977. The results of the study demonstrate the usefulness of employing a life cycle perspective to elaborate the variable order of events prior to the development and testing of occupational attainment models for women.
Bibliography Citation
Wityak, Nancy Lynn. Occupational Attainment Resources and the Life Cycle Patterns of Young Women. Ph.D. Dissertation, George Washington University, 1982.