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Dev Psychol. 2006 Sep;42(5):937-49.

Middle childhood and adolescent contextual and personal predictors of adult educational and occupational outcomes: a mediational model in two countries.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA.


The authors examined the prediction of occupational attainment by age 40 from contextual and personal variables assessed during childhood and adolescence in 2 participant samples: (a) the Columbia County Longitudinal Study, a study of 856 third graders in a semirural county in New York State that began in 1960, and (b) the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development, a study of 369 eight-year-olds in Jyväskylä, Finland, that began in 1968. Both samples were followed up during adolescence and early and middle adulthood. Structural modeling analyses revealed that in both countries, for both genders, children's age 8 cognitive-academic functioning and their parents' occupational status had independent positive long-term effects on the children's adult occupational attainment, even after other childhood and adolescent personal variables were controlled for. Further, childhood and adolescent aggressive behavior negatively affected educational status in early adulthood, which in turn predicted lower occupational status in middle adulthood.

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