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Adolescent Experiences and Adult Work Outcomes: Connections and Causes Book Review

Adolescent Experiences and Adult Work Outcomes: Connections and Causes Book Review

The book Adolescent Experiences and Adult Work Outcomes: Connections and Causes minutely describes the process of growth from adolescence to young adulthood. The authors enlighten the readers as to external and internal influences that have a tendency to affect people’s future. With this they emphasize their message to the readers that adolescents’ early experience is the essence of his or her future life. Due to this reason, there are different youth service programs that people can participate and experience various life situations beforehand as preparation and guidelines to a more sophisticated and complete adulthood. Thanks to this adolescents can conceptualize their mindset and choose reasonable direction for their imminent goals and careers. Such institutions as schools and families can also participate as mentors. It is a widely-known fact that adolescents learn behaviors from their parents, and, additionally, they are greatly affected with that environment to develop their decision-making process. Despite the advantages of the youth service programs, the authors remark some negative ideas about them for exposing adolescents to socialization and competitive conditions.

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In the beginning of the chapter one, the authors question the readers whether “events and experiences during adolescence influence the work outcomes” and answer this question in detail to the readers. They emphasize that early experience or events have critical effects on youth’s future career. There are, however, several opposing researches who state that such life occurrences do not impact people and sometimes even aggravate the situation. This is determined with the fact that the future careers are mainly reflected on person’s opportunities or abilities. In spite of the disputation, the authors of the book strongly prove their own opinion with evidence. Adolescents get exposed to socialization at the work place when they grow up. Furthermore, the creators of the book highlight three more factors that affect young people. For example, family has strong influence on career and development because its members live together for a long period of time. At this background, the schools provide strong source of socialization related to career choice and decision making skills while they have chance to provide a variety of skills and knowledge. Lastly, socialization produces strong effects on individual development and future personal connection. Participating in youth service program also is one of the socialization sources among variety of others.

The chapter two of the book under analysis, “In Search of the Self at Work: Young Adults’ Experiences of a Dual Identity Organization”, not only conveys general information by researching one of the youth service communities “Helping Hands”, but also shows events and how experiences during adolescence are effective for future career. “Helping Hands” is a non-profit youth service community established in 1990s by three women. The purpose of this program is to aid and guide adolescents and young adults, who suffer from uncertainty of future careers and face difficulty socializing with people. This service community aims to create connection between its members as well as encourage them to boost the process of the early adult socialization. Opposing to the authors’ statement, some other researchers argue that some people who have participated in this program are not claiming to have any benefits or advantages. Opposing scientists state that some individuals who took part in program even got delayed in achieving their goals and career compared to others who have not participated in the program. The book mentions that “researchers have argued that participants who complete such programs lag behind nonparticipants in later service activities and generally trail both nonparticipants and drop-outs in civic and political participation” (McAdam & Brandt 18). In reality, it does make sense; however, the authors are aimed at publicly talking about the crucial missing point of youth service program. They argue that the reason why such service community exists is just to help out adolescents or young adults who are suffering from uncertainty of future careers. “Helping Hands”, one of the youth service programs the authors mention, has two types of identity. There are two main identities in it, which are Drifter and Future Professional. They aim, in sequence, people who are challenging and developing themselves, and those who are increasing their professional or educational level. Future professional groups have more passion about their future careers than that of the drifter groups. The authors prove the statement with evidence with percentage “by contrast, 76 percent of the drifters did not know or specify what they wanted to do in the future. The Drifters’ lack of a clear plan for the future was confirmed by typical responses about what they might have done had they not joined “Helping Hands” (Anteby & Wrzesniewski). As it can be visualized, although the “Helping Hands” program was established to provide assistance to adolescents, many individuals who participate in it do not have the appropriate and positive mindset. This is very similar to the case, “because of few minors, who behave a negative way, all adolescents are having hard time with negative image and this is why all adolescents should be controlled by parents and state.” The authors want to convince that participating in youth service program is a good idea to earn benefits but it is only effective when young people attempt to put forth effort in the program.

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The authors elaborate to present another effective source of impact on future career and work orientation in chapter three. Chapter three, which is called “Adolescent Socialization and the Development of Adult Work Orientations”, talks about the factors that can affect the work orientation of the youth. The authors argue that one of the most effective aspects of work choice is parents. Along with this, it is necessary to mention that adolescents spend most of their time with mothers and/or fathers, especially, when they are young. Due to this fact, parents transmit occupational inheritance to their children. The authors simply divide parental influence into two types which are paternal and maternal. The book’s creators state that the former kind is stronger and more effective compared to the latter one. What is more, according to the authors’ researches represented in the chapter, the stronger influence the participants experienced frim their fathers possessing a career orientation in their adolescence, the stronger is the impact of the adult-child’s interaction on the career orientation. Maternal affect is also very important. When adolescents have close relationship with their mothers, they are more likely to be introverts. And when young people have close relationship with their fathers, they tend to be regarded as extraverts. One of the mechanisms is intergenerational transmission of business ownership. Some adolescents are exposed to early socialization, when their parents own some business.

The chapter four of the book in question, “What You Value or What You Know? Which Mechanism Explains the Intergenerational Transmission of Business Ownership Expectations?” further explains how paternal aspect affects adolescents’ future career. The authors claim in this section that fathers critically influence their children especially, when the former possess some business. The main reason why adolescents’ preferences change when their paternal compound owns business is wealth. To maintain possession of intergenerational company is very difficult because of different preferences, and various information connections. Even though, wealth of parents is one of the main reasons why adolescents are affected and desire to transmit paternal ownership business. They definitely want to follow and learn from parents’ positive work force. Some opposing scientists argue that paternal might have trouble with maintaining business possession or the business field might be dirty, tricky or even dangerous. Basically, the authors counterattacked that learning and following traits of paternal is not harmful and paternal aspect will dissuade adolescents not to lead the ownership business what it used to do before.

In chapter five, “The Long Arm of the Life Course: Adolescent Experiences and the Evaluation of Job Security in Early Adulthood”, the authors explain the relationship between adolescent experiences and work related values and circumstances in young adulthood. The researchers keep emphasizing that the most effective impact is done on the youth by the their families. The authors have a conviction that “several studies have examined the influence of parents and the family environment on adult children’s work outcomes” (Elder 129). According to the researchers’, when the adolescents’ fathers or mothers had suffered from unemployment, they are likely to either have weak job security or work in non-standard company. On the other hand, if youths’ parents had good condition of career or business ownership, the latter are likely to either possess strong job security or to be employed in standard companies. Experiences of working while being students can shape the adolescents’ job choice and orientation that fits them in a future career. The authors of the book argue not only that having part-time job or temporary working is a crucial aspect; youngsters also have to obtain the higher education. This is determined with that fact that, compared to others, adolescents want strong job security. The authors also find that respondents with higher grades have better chances of achieving a match between their occupational expectations and achievements.

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In chapter six, “Sex, Drugs, and Rolling Rocks: Adolescent Counter-Normative Behaviors and their Job Mobility as Young Adults”, the authors regard the phenomenon of social sorting. The definition of this notion is a kind of discrimination. The authors show that counter normative, which means minor of adolescents’ behaviors, affect involuntary job exit. Basically, the creators of the book intend to convey, for example, the main mechanism of this social sorting. They show that it is usually used in companies when individuals are divided into employers, supervisors, managers, and employees. The researchers argue that this kind of social sorting system can eventually end up with involuntary turnover. To provide an example from the book, the chapter two, written about youth community service “Helping Hands”, talks about two identities which are Drifters and Future Professionals. Even though both of them have different positive definitions, the service wants to divide them into basically good and bad. Therefore, the authors want to convince the readers that sorting young adolescents out will result in their negative future.

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In chapter seven, “Beneficial “Child Labor”: The Impact of Adolescent Work on Future Professional Outcomes”, the investigators clarify some positive influence of adolescent work from a long-term perspective. The authors claim that the work of youth is related to their future life outcomes such as higher income, better fitting orientation job, and better career connections with people. As adolescents who have experience of workforce, they will be engaged to a great extent in the future labor market as they enter adulthood. In any case, a certain number of opposing researchers insist that overdose of working in young age affects not only their grades, but also makes them exhausted both physically and mentally. Thus, the authors claim that that there are positive relationships between higher income and number of hours that parents work. Twenty hours or less experience of work during adolescence period provides access to attaining better socialization among people and more job opportunities since “adolescent experiences have considerable weight on identity development” (Lerner & Steinberg 194). The authors also divide working youth in two parts, the adolescents who work in family business and the adolescents who work for others. Those of them who work for their family business find better fitting job compared to those who have to work for others. By having experience of work and socialization, adolescents are exposed to competitive conditions among others. This phenomenon bears an automatical nature.

Thus, in chapter eight, “Going for the Gold: The Effect of Competitive Socialization on Managerial Attainment”, the authors generally discuss how competitive social life can be effective in adolescents’ life. While participating in organizations such as “Helping Hands”, the nonprofit youth service program, a large number of youngsters are involuntarily exposed to competitive conditions. Competitive socialization definitely affects adolescents in positive ways because future society, especially when they are employed in businesses, can be even harshly expressed as a war. Figuratively saying, the matter of taste of competition can apply to young people as immune system, which will give incentive and propel them to achieve higher outcomes in reality. This leads to an idea that the more adolescents learn about competitive socialization, the higher rate of success they achieve in the future. It is acclaimed that “children who receive insufficient social capital from their parents are disadvantaged in competencies, knowledge, and skills required to compete in the labor market” (Coleman 223). The main topic of the authors’ opinion is concentrated on is the fact that having early experience is definitely good for adolescents’ future careers. There is a variety of sources that affect them: youth service program, socializations, experience of working, and education in school. However, there is a chance of having negative effects as well, when adolescent and young adults have social sorting. Discriminating social hierarchy into parts will be eventually harmful even when they get older. Although, the authors have a conviction that it can be helpful and might aid those who suffer having hard time due to their uncertainty of future career. This is exercised with their research and supported with their knowledge. The authors have a tendency to prove that there is a higher rate of adolescents having better career if they follow one of the sources the writers insist on. The most crucial aspects that the researchers want to emphasize to the audience are family, experience of workforce, and education.

To conclude, the book under analysis, Adolescent Experiences and Adult work Outcomes: Connections and Causes, provides a profound analysis of the issues connected with the adolescence socialization and their transmission to the adulthood. The research conducted by the authors can be characterized as an important one, because it serves as a helpful tool to understand the difficulties the youngsters are likely to face in their future while educating and choosing the career. The contribution the scientists have produced with their study cannot be underestimated, since it shows the difficulty of the adolescents’ perception and the way of their thinking. In addition to this, the book can serve as a helpful guide for parents and educational institutions in regards of the help they are likely to provide the adolescents with.

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