Assignment: Developmental Applications

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Assignment: Developmental Applications

Assignment: Developmental Applications

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Assignment: Developmental Theories and Their Applications

Developmental Theories and Their Applications: Donald Super and Linda Gottfredson

Focus on the biological, psychological, sociological and cultural factors that influence career choice

Donald Super

Super’s Five Life and Career Development Stages

1. Growth (Age: birth – 14) Characteristics: development of self-concept attitudes, and general world of work

2. Exploration (Age 15 – 24) Trying out classes, work, hobbies; tentative choice and skill development

3. Establishment (Age 25 – 44) Entry-level skill building and stabilizing work experience

4. Maintenance (Age 45 –64) Continual adjustment process to improve position

5. Decline (Age 65+) Reduced output, preparation for retirement

Super’s Propositions

People differ in their abilities and personalities, needs, values, interests, traits and self concepts

People are qualified, by virtue of their characteristics, for a number of occupations.

Each occupation requires a characteristic pattern of abilities and personality traits

Vocational preferences and competencies, the situations in which people live and work and their self-concepts change with time and experience.

5. This process of change may be summed up in a series of life stages:

Growth, exploration, establishment, maintenance and decline

The nature of the career pattern is determined by the individual’s parental socioeconomic level, mental ability, education, skills, personality characteristics, career maturity and by the opportunities to which he or she is exposed.

Success in coping with the demands of the environment depends on the individual’s career maturity.

Career maturity is a hypothetical construct.

Development through the life stages can be guided.

The process of career development is that of developing and implementing occupational self-concepts

The process of compromise is one of role playing and learning from feedback.

Work and life satisfactions depend on the extent to which the individual finds adequate outlets for abilities, needs, values, interests and personality traits.

The degree of satisfaction people attain from work is proportional to the degree to which they have been able to implement self-concepts.

Work and occupation provide a focus. If peripheral or nonexistent, leisure activities ad homemaking may be central.


Theory of Circumscription and Compromise

This theory is concerned with how career aspirations develop

Predicated on 4 basic assumptions:

Career development process begins in childhood

Career aspirations are attempts to implement one’s self-concept

Career satisfaction depends on the degree to which career in congruent with self-perceptions

People develop occupational stereotypes that guide them in the selection process

According to Gottfredson people develop cognitive maps of occupations that are organized along 3 dimensions:

Masculinity/femininity of the occupation

Prestige of the occupation

Fields of work



Circumscription – Ideas about gender and prestige influence and limit career choices.

Compromise – Career choices are modified due to environmental and other factors. Individuals give up interests, prestige, and sex type when compromising.


Not knowing how behavior of individuals affects their access to occupational or educational information

Need to know which factors young people are most and least willing to give up when they can’t get their first choice

Not knowing enough about how to enter an occupation or get educational information

Gottfredson identified

4 developmental stages:

Ages 3 to 5: Orientation of size and power

Ages 6 to 8: Orientation to sex roles

Ages 9 to 13: Orientation to social valuation

Ages 14+: Choices explored

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