Linking Decent Work With Academic Engagement and Satisfaction Among First-Generation College Students: A Psychology of Working Perspective

Journal of Career Assessment / July 2020

Students Studying at a Table

Links between decent work and academic outcomes among a sample (N = 1,231) of first-generation college students were examined based on Psychology of Working Theory (PWT). A theory-driven mediation model was proposed by placing decent work as a mediator between predictors of PWT and academic outcomes. The predictor component of PWT was supported. Future decent work perceptions positively predicted academic engagement but not academic satisfaction. Support for the mediation results was mixed. Overall, findings suggested that positive future decent work perceptions may boost academic engagement for university students. Thus, interventions that aim to improve student academic satisfaction should be implemented. Two malleable psychological factors, namely, work volition and career adaptability appear to be two malleable psychological factors that could be used as targets when working with this group. Theoretical contributions and future research directions are discussed.