Subjective social status, work volition, and career adaptability: A longitudinal study

Kelsey L. Autin, Richard P. Douglass, Ryan D. Duffy, Jessica W. England, Blake A. Allan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Building from the Psychology of Working Theory, we explore relations between subjective social status, work volition, and career adaptability over time in a sample of 267 undergraduate students. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing study variables in three waves over a period of six months. Structural equation modeling was used to examine cross-lagged relations between all three variables as well as examine the mediating effect of work volition in the link from social status to career adaptability. Results showed Time 1 and Time 2 social status to predict Time 2 and Time 3 work volition respectively. Likewise, Time 1 and Time 2 work volition significantly predicted Time 2 and Time 3 career adaptability. Finally, we found work volition to significantly mediate the relation between social status and career adaptability. Results provide preliminary support for the Psychology of Working Theory hypotheses regarding the relations from financial constraints and marginalization to work volition and career adaptability. Practical implications and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Career adaptability
  • Career development
  • Psychology of working
  • Social status
  • Work volition


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