Work and family commitment among "emerging adults"
The present study investigated the structure and formation of work and family identities among "emerging adults." Participants were 46 male and 49 female juniors and seniors at a private East Coast University, ages 19 to 23 (M = 21.1, SD = .97). It was hypothesized that while men and women would not differ on their level of commitment to work roles, women would be more committed than men to family roles. It was also hypothesized that neither men nor women would feel the need to "trade off" between work and family commitment levels. Social cognitive theory was expected to account for work and family commitment levels, as were gender-related personality traits. Contrary to the hypotheses, men and women were found to have similar levels of commitment to both work and family roles, while for women, but not men, there was a negative correlation between work and family commitment levels. As hypothesized, respondents' agency was related to their work commitment, while communality was related to their family commitment. While the social cognitive model in the present study did not account for work and family commitment levels, exploratory analyses looked at the relationships between actual and observed experience with work and family activities and work and family self-efficacy and commitment. The implications of these findings for social cognitive and role expansion theories are discussed.