Applying the theory of work adjustment to Latino immigrant workers: an exploratory study.
J Career Dev 2012 Feb; 39(1):76-98
Blustein mapped career decision making onto Maslow's model of motivation and personality and concluded that most models of career development assume opportunities and decision-making latitude that do not exist for many individuals from low income or otherwise disadvantaged backgrounds. Consequently, Blustein argued that these models may be of limited utility for such individuals. Blustein challenged researchers to reevaluate current career development approaches, particularly those assuming a static world of work, from a perspective allowing for changing circumstances and recognizing career choice can be limited by access to opportunities, personal obligations, and social barriers. This article represents an exploratory effort to determine if the theory of work adjustment (TWA) might meaningfully be used to describe the work experiences of Latino immigrant workers, a group living with severe constraints and having very limited employment opportunities. It is argued that there is significant conceptual convergence between Maslow's hierarchy of needs and the work reinforcers of TWA. The results of an exploratory, qualitative study with a sample of 10 Latino immigrants are also presented. These immigrants participated in key informant interviews concerning their work experiences both in the United States and in their home countries. The findings support Blustein's contention that such workers will be most focused on basic survival needs and suggest that TWA reinforcers are descriptive of important aspects of how Latino immigrant workers conceptualize their jobs.
Humans; Women; Sociological-factors; Workers; Work-environment; Hazards; Stress; Models; Psychology; Psychological-factors;
Author Keywords: latino immigrants; person-environment fit; Maslow; psychology of work; qualitative;
vocational psychology; theory of work adjustment
Donald E. Eggerth, Training Research and Evaluation Branch, CDC/NIOSH, 4676 Columbia Parkway, C-10, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Journal of Career Development