Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

Michael F. Kosloski

Committee Member

Philip A. Reed

Committee Member

Alan Meca


As emerging adults transition into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) workforce, it is essential to understand the factors that predict successful occupational identity achievement, as automation will impact human occupational identity crises. This descriptive cross-sectional study implemented a correlation design to determine the degree to which ideational behavior predicts occupational identity achievement preceding entry into the 4IR workforce. Using a sample of 166 emerging adult college students from a Mid-Atlantic, diverse, four-year university, data were collected using Runco’s Ideational Behavior Scale (RIBS) and Melgosa’s Occupational Identity Achievement subscale (OIA). Results showed that ideational behavior significantly predicted occupational identity achievement (p < .016), as it was uncovered that emerging adults’ degree of ideational behavior explains 3.5% of the variance of their occupational identity achievement (R2 < .035), as higher levels of ideational behavior are related to higher levels of occupational identity achievement. The results also concluded that emerging adults’ demographics showed no significance after a multiple linear regression analysis (p < .246), but total ideational behavior scores remained significant (p < .015). These findings suggest that ideational behavior is a strong predictor of emerging adults’ occupational identity achievement proceeding entry into the 4IR workforce


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