Doctoral Student Fellowship

Raúl Chávez, School of Social Welfare

Psychosocial development and the identification with work: An identity-based approach to understanding the work roles, choices, and behaviors of Latino males in California.


The problem of youth unemployment has been traditionally understood through an economics lens and reduced to the simple binary outcome of employment status. Nonetheless, such a conceptualization ignores the psychological and social aspects of work, as well as the various dimensions of employment quality. The purpose of this mixed methods dissertation is to take a psychosocial development approach to understanding the problem of youth unemployment by (a) testing for the relationship between psychosocial development factors and five dimensions of employment quality found in the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, and (b) conducting interviews to understand through 20 case studies of young Latino males in California how their psychosocial development experiences extend into their young adult work roles, choices, and behaviors. The treatment of employment outcomes as a product of lifelong psychosocial experiences is expected to give rise to findings that will provide implications for child and youth policy not just at one point in time, but across the entire pre-adult lifespan.