, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 313-330

Older adolescents' thinking about academic/vocational and interpersonal commitments

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Sixty-eight college students listed the factors they consider or would consider when making the following commitments: choosing courses, choosing a major, choosing a career, choosing a friend, choosing a romantic partner, and choosing a lifelong partner. In addition, subjects provided their own definition ofcommitment in an unstructured essay. Subjects listed more factors, more distinct types of factors, and more original factors for interpersonal commitments than for academic/vocational commitments. There were few gender differences found in these measures, contradicting the idea that men and women think differently about different commitments. In addition, few gender or class year differences were found in the themes present in the essay definingcommitment. Conceptions of commitment, as described in essays, predicted thinking about specific commitments only slightly.

Received Ph.D. in Psychology and M.S.E. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and has research interests in the areas of cognitive development and reasoning and decision making.
Received Ph.D. in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has research interests in adolescent development and adolescent psychopathology.