An analysis of college students' role expectations and commitment




Berzins, Tiffany

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Two hundred and one students from a public university in the southwest United States indicated their expectations for and commitment to various life roles on six surveys. Prior research focused on either adolescents or working adults, and has found that conflicts between occupational roles and interpersonal roles exist. This research expands previous findings by examining associations between occupational and interpersonal roles in college students. Researchers hypothesized that college students' occupational expectations and commitment would have an inverse association to their interpersonal relationship expectations and commitment. Researchers also hypothesized that the strongest inverse association would be for romantic relationships, followed by same-sex friendships, and finally by cross-sex friendships. Gender differences were also explored to reconcile previous conflicting findings. Researchers used bivariate correlation analyses to test the hypotheses. The hypotheses were not supported by the results, however significant differences in the associations between male and female expectations for emotional support and occupational commitment did surface. These findings have implications for predicting successful outcomes of emerging adult interpersonal relationships, especially for emerging adults with high levels of occupational commitment.


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Career Commitment, Career Expectations, Career Planning, Friendships, Interpersonal Relationships, Relationship Expectations