Comparing the Career Transitions of Younger and Older Adults: Contributions of Adult Attachment Orientation and Career Adaptability to Subjective Well-Being
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Understanding career transitions and what drives particular utilization of adaptive strategies during these life periods are important to examine as they provide valuable information regarding how people cope. To date, limited research has examined the impact that career transitions have on overall health and functioning across two distinct generational cohorts. This proposal addresses current gaps within the literature by examining career transitions from a life span perspective, focusing exclusively on career adaptive strategies outlined in career construction theory (Savickas, 2005) and attachment theory (Bowlby, 1982). Results from this study highlight that attachment insecurity was negatively associated with career adaptive strategies and well-being. Younger adults are more concerned with control and confidence while older adults are concerned with control and curiosity when undergoing transitions. Moreover, career concern and control emerged as significant mediators between attachment insecurity and well-being for both cohorts. Lastly, relationships with parents and significant others were also important features to well-being for these two age cohorts. Implications of this line of research highlight that while similarities involved in transitions exist, it is equally important to test and identify which individual difference variables are important to well-being. Future research directions and implications to vocational and counseling interventions are provided.