Identity Development and Careers in Adolescents and Emerging Adults: Content, Process, and Structure

Authored by: Erik J. Porfeli , Bora Lee , Fred W. Vondracek

Handbook of Vocational Psychology

Print publication date:  May  2013
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415808170
eBook ISBN: 9780203143209
Adobe ISBN: 9781136500008


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Vocational identity is an important construct in a number of career theories. In examining the history of vocational identity in career theory, it is readily apparent that it is linked with the history of the conceptually closely related construct of self-concept. Moreover, some prominent early theorists did not view self-concept and identity as independent constructs. For example, Super conceptualized identification as part of the process of self-concept formation, and while he did not explicitly incorporate the construct of vocational identity into his theory, he believed that “identifying with” or “matching” oneself against individuals in certain occupations was the process that would lead to occupational choice (Super, 1963). Tiedeman and his colleagues viewed self-concept and identity formation as part of the organized patterns of psychological functioning that interacted reciprocally with occupational behavior and the development of work roles (e.g., Dudley and Tiedeman, 1977; O’Hara and Tiedeman, 1959; Peatling and Tiedeman, 1977; Tiedeman and O’Hara, 1963)

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