Young Australian Women and Their Aspirations

"It's Hard Enough Thinking a Week or Two in Advance at the Moment"

Melissa Johnstone*, Christina Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Previous findings from quantitative research have shown that the majority of young Australian women aged 18 to 23 years aspire to be married, with children, and in the paid workforce when they are 35 years of age. However, the Theory of Emerging Adulthood suggests that this period of the lifespan is characterized by a prolonged stage of exploration and self-focussed identity formation, and young women could be expected to be in the process of formulating and changing their future plans and aspirations. Qualitative analysis is conducted on over 600 comments provided by young Australian women from The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health across three time points, on topics related to these women's aspirations for the future. This analysis contextualizes existing, quantitative, findings on women's aspirations for work and family, and provides a richer understanding of women's thoughts about work and family, and their progression toward decision making around these future roles, in contemporary society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-376
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

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