Relative Work and Family Role Centralities: Beliefs and Behaviors Related to the Transition to Adulthood

Scott S. Hall
Brian J. Willoughby, Brigham Young University


The current study of 434 young adults investigated the relative centralities of anticipated adult roles. Based on assigned percentages to career, marriage, and parenthood roles, five distinct relative centrality profiles were created: Child Centered, Marriage Centered, Marriage and Child, Career Centered, and Family and Career. The Career Centered and Marriage Centered groups tended to differ the most, with the former being less enthusiastic toward marriage and reporting less cautious beliefs and behavior related to sexuality and risk taking. Other nuanced differences were also explored. It is argued that the centrality profiles have implications for the decisions that young adults currently make that could lead them along various trajectories toward adulthood that influence if and how adult roles are realized.