Special Education ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 6-3-1968


The basic proposition that systematic associations exist between vocational aspirations and vocational values was amply supported by this investigation. Fundamental dimensions, syntheses of various of these associations, were found to describe and to differentiate between basic types of vocational identity. A model, also formulated as a synthesis of several findings, revealed a generalized pattern of relationships among vocational fields.

The focus of this study was upon the utilization of vocational values variables in the description of differing types of vocational identity. The values variables employed several life satisfaction source items, religious preferences, and a set of items dealing with the importance of abilities, money, originality, prestige, work with people, security, supervision, leadership, adventure, and service, in an ''ideal job." The vocational aspirations of the subjects were measured by means of academic major preferences, occupational preferences, and semester-by-­semester academic major choices. The vocational aspirations and values, aptitudes, and attrition were compared with those of other students at the University and at other doctoral-degree granting institutions.

Several basic types of vocational identity were found. One set was parallel to the types described in several other investigations: A) service to others through helping people; B) security, through earning money and having high status; C) self, with an emphasis on opportunities for self-expression, and freedom from supervision. A differing set of identity types involved a basic distinction between perspectives of inter-personal relationships. Persons selecting the Biological Science, Humanities, Education, and Medicine fields were categorized as viewing themselves in a web of social inter-relationships, whereas, persons in the remaining fields, Law, Social Science, Business, Physical Science, and Engineering, were characterized as perceiving themselves engaged in a series of one-to-one relationships with others. A third set of identity types distinguished between four types of relationships with others ranging from involvement to isolation: helpful; leadership; status, adventure.

A model, representing a collective perception, revealed a relatively stable system of linkages among vocational fields. The model was held to be a "social fact," having significance beyond the sum of its parts, and possessing a utility beyond the contribution of any one person or any one occupational grouping of respondents.

The data were made available through a research project at the University of New Mexico sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Office of Aerospace Research, United States Air Force, under Grants numbered 507-64, 507-65, 507-66, 507-67.

Document Type


Degree Name

Special Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

George Leonard Keppers

Second Committee Member

Louis Charles Bernardoni

Third Committee Member

Charles Emmert Woodhouse

Fourth Committee Member

Tom Wiley