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Differences in adult attachment style, career choice and career satisfaction for occupational therapy and commerce students
journal contributionposted on 03.08.2018, 00:00 authored by Pamela Meredith, K Merson, J Strong
Adult attachment theory has been portrayed as a framework from which to conceptualise career choice, with evidence that occupational therapy students report both a high rate of secure attachment and high levels of satisfaction with their career choice (Roney et al 2004). These findings appear to support the notion that those with secure attachment styles are drawn to the people-oriented, care-giving nature of occupational therapy. The present study was undertaken to test this assumption further by comparing students from first-year occupational therapy and commerce courses: two courses perceived to differ in their focus on care giving. One hundred and fifty-three university students (n = 53 occupational therapy, n = 100 commerce) completed a questionnaire encompassing demographic information, adult attachment styles, factors influencing career choice and the level of satisfaction with this choice. A significant difference in the attachment styles between the two groups (p < 0.03) was noted, with more occupational therapy students identified as 'secure', and fewer as 'preoccupied' or 'dismissing', compared with students from the commerce courses. Occupational therapy students were also more satisfied with their choice of career. This result lends support to the theory that securely attached students are both attracted to and satisfied with the more caring professions, such as occupational therapy.