Career maturity and familial independence among college freshmen



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Tech University


One life stage which merits a great deal of attention from both family and individual theorists is that of late adolescence, when the adolescent begins to leave the home. Family theorists have written extensively about the familial developmental stage in which adolescents begin to leave the home and the effects of poor adjustment to this normal developmental event. Career theorists have also addressed the late adolescent's developmental process. Career development has been addressed as one aspect of general personality development and has empirically been found to be positively related to measures of psychosocial stages of general development and measures of adjustment. Although both independence from the family and career maturity have been described as aspects of general development and both have been related to adjustment, the research has not explored a relationship between them. Therefore, the purpose of the present investigation is to explore the relationship of family development and career development. Based upon the reviewed literature, it was hypothesized that greater career maturity is related to (i.e., significantly and positively correlated with) greater independence from the family of the late adolescent. The Career Development Inventory (CDI) was used to measure career maturity and the Psychological Separation Inventory (PSI) was used to measure independence from parents. The results of t tests indicated that there were gender differences in that females scored higher than males on the CDI subscale "Career Orientation Total," and males scored higher than females on the PSI subscales "Emotional Independence" and "Mother Emotional Independence." Data were, therefore, analyzed separately by gender. The results of multiple regression analyses did not support the hypothesis that independence from parents is positively and significantly correlated with career maturity. For the samples of men and women reported here, neither "Career Development Attitudes" nor "Career Orientation Total" scores are predicted by scores on subtests of the Psychological Separation Inventory. Results are discussed in relation to previous research, theoretical applications, and measurement considerations.