Submissions List TBI Interagency Conference

Career Readiness, Developmental Work Personality and Age of Onset in Young Adult CNS Survivors

  • Strauser, David


Developing New Knowledge


The primary purpose of this presentation is to present the results of a pilot research study that examined the relationship between levels of career readiness, work personality, and age of onset in a group of young adult CNS survivors.


Purpose: The primary purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of  foundational research in the area of career readiness, work personality and age of onset with young adult CNS survivors.


Research Questions: The following two research questions guided this study:

(1) Do young adult CNS survivors have lower levels of career readiness and work personality when compared to an appropriately matched normative group?

(2) For young adult CNS survivors are there significant differences in levels of career readiness and work personality based on age of tumor onset?



Sample: Participants for this study consisted of 43 individuals who ranged in age from 18 to 30 (M=21.64, SD=3.46), an average age of brain tumor onset of 9.50 years (SD=4.73) and average years off of treatment of 7.25 years (SD=5.80).


Results: For research question one, results of the one sample T-tests indicated that young adult CNS survivors had significantly higher scores (i.e. lower level of vocational identity) on the CTI total (t(40)=.3.35, p<.002, d=.52), and the three subscales (DMC t(40)=2.61, p<.013, d=.41), CA t(40) = 3.52, p<.001, d=.55), EC t(40)=3.52, p<.002, d=.50) than the age-based normative sample, in which the effect of all score comparisons were medium, except the DMC comparison which was small to medium. Results from MANCOVA indicated that the overall model was significant (Wilks’ Lambda: F (4, 80) = 2.488, p = .050, η2 = .111), in which both covariates were not significant (F (4, 80) = .302, p = .876, η2 = .015 and F (4, 80) = 1.847, p = .128, η2 = .085 for age and education respectively). After adjusting for the covariates, follow-up univariate ANOVAs indicated that both the Total and three subscale scores of DWPS, when examined alone, were significantly different between the two groups (F (1, 83) = 4.106-8.355, ps < .05) with medium effects, with CNS survivors reporting lower levels on the total and all subscale scores.

For research question two results from ANOVA analyses indicated that, regarding the DWPS, the Work Task subscale score was significantly different across the three age of onset groups, (F (2, 40) = 2.805, p =.072, η2 =.123 respectively). Examination of effect size indicated that the Work Task subscale score has a medium to large effect on the variability which was explained by memberships in the group defining the onset age of CNS. However, no significant group effect was observed in the total score and subscale scores of Social Skill and Role Model across the three groups. Further pair-wise analyses indicated that the young adult CNS survivors with their onset age of CNS from 6 to 12 years old scored lower on Work Tasks of the DWPS than the other two groups. Regarding the CTI, no significant difference were found for the total and three subscale scores across the three groups (all ps > .1). Nevertheless, a medium effect was observed for the External Conflict subscale of CTI, suggesting that the young adult CNS survivors with their onset age of CNS from 6 to 12 years old tended to report higher levels of external conflict when compared to the other two groups.


Conclusions: Young adult CNS survivors at an increased risk for having lower levels of work personality and career readiness then a norm group comparison.  Age of onset (between 6-12) may be at significant risk factor for developing poor or dysfunctional work and career behaviors.