Back to overview

Work or family or both? Value trajectories and their prediction over ten years

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2015
Author Tschopp Cécile, Keller Anita C., Stalder Barbara E.,
Project Individual Trajectories of Working Life in Switzerland
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Journal of Adolescence
Volume (Issue) 42
Page(s) 20 - 30
Title of proceedings Journal of Adolescence
DOI 10.1016/j.adolescence.2015.03.013


Previous studies have shown that values are developed during young adulthood. This study investigated whether and when developmental trajectories of values depend on gender, language region, cognitive competence, expected education duration, and ambition. Longitudinal data of 2620 adolescents in Switzerland were collected at eight waves of measurement over 10 years. Latent growth model analysis revealed that work values mainly increase between ages 16 and 20, whereas family values primarily increase after age 20. This pattern fits the major life and career roles sequence: Becoming established in one's career comes first, and focusing on family building follows later. The initial levels and development of values were essentially affected by gender, but other individual factors such as cognitive competence, expected education duration, and ambition also showed some effect, particularly on family values. These new insights into the development of values improve the understanding of the career decisions and career behavior of adolescents.