By the spring of 2003, I completed my thesis titled The Relationship Between Career Maturity and Career Aspirations of Learning Disabled Students. The purpose of the study was to determine if the career decision-making process is unclear to learning disabled students in comparison to regular education students and to see if the differences in career maturity contribute to their choice of low prestigious careers.
The study found no significant differences between career maturity scores and the level of prestige and no significant differences between the learning disabled and regular education students and their level of career maturity level. The study found significant differences between the learning disabled and regular education students and their level of prestige. The regular education students indicated higher prestige levels then learning disabled students. The study found no significant differences between male and female and their career maturity level. Also, the study found significant differences between male and female students and their prestigious level. The female students choose higher prestigious careers when compared to male students.
The most important finding of this particular study was that there was not a significant difference between students and career maturity level. Indicating a need for educators to focus on the high school population, as a whole, and to implement career counseling as a course to prepare students for making mature career choices. Another important finding was the prestige level and career choice patterns of adolescents with disabilities differed from regular education students in this study. Adolescents with learning disabilities were more likely than non-disabled adolescents to aspire to low-prestige careers while less likely to aspire to high-prestige careers.
My thesis continues to be inspirational to me eleven and a half years later when my daughter was born. I decided that I would expose her to different careers by having her be the main character in the different occupation photos, which represent each month of her life. I will continue exploring different careers as long as she is willing to participate. I envision using the photos to facilitate conversations with her regarding different career options ensuring she understands the years each occupation requires of higher education, job prospects, and salary data. I hope you enjoy my photos as much as I have creating them.
Deana Kay Lowinski