Career momentum in midlife women: life context, identity, and personality correlates.

B. W. Roberts, W. Friend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Women (N = 83) in their early 50s indicated whether they were increasing, maintaining, or decreasing momentum in their career. On the basis of their career momentum, women were classified into 3 groups and compared on work and family patterns, the importance of work to their identity, personality characteristics, and psychological well-being. Women with high career momentum were in higher status jobs and viewed their work as more central to their identity than women who were maintaining or decreasing their career momentum. Also, women with high career momentum scored higher on measures of self-acceptance, independence, and effective functioning in their early 50s and also rated their physical health higher than the other groups. Prospective longitudinal analyses showed that personality and life context patterns differentiated among the career momentum groups as far back as 30 years before the assessment of career momentum. The significance of the results for women's career development in midlife and coping with retirement is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-208
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of occupational health psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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