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The O*Net Jobs Classification System: A Primer for Family Researchers

Authors

  • Ann C. Crouter,

    Corresponding author
      *Ann C. Crouter is the Director of the Social Science Research Institute, 601 Oswald Tower, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802 (ac1@psu.edu).
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  • Stephanie T. Lanza,

    Corresponding author
      Stephanie T. Lanza is the Scientific Director of The Methodology Center, Penn State University, 204 E Calder Way, Suite 400, State College, PA 16801 (slanza@psu.edu).
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  • Amy Pirretti,

    Corresponding author
      Amy Pirretti is a Research Assistant at the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, S-110 Henderson Building, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802 (aev113@psu.edu).
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  • W. Benjamin Goodman,

    Corresponding author
      W. Benjamin Goodman is a Research Assistant at the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, S-110 Henderson Building, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802 (wbg109@psu.edu).
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  • Eloise Neebe,

    Corresponding author
      Eloise Neebe is the Director of Data Management, Campus Box 8185, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8185 (eloise_neebe@unc.edu).
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  • The Family Life Project Key Investigators


*Ann C. Crouter is the Director of the Social Science Research Institute, 601 Oswald Tower, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802 (ac1@psu.edu).

Stephanie T. Lanza is the Scientific Director of The Methodology Center, Penn State University, 204 E Calder Way, Suite 400, State College, PA 16801 (slanza@psu.edu).

Amy Pirretti is a Research Assistant at the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, S-110 Henderson Building, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802 (aev113@psu.edu).

W. Benjamin Goodman is a Research Assistant at the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, S-110 Henderson Building, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802 (wbg109@psu.edu).

Eloise Neebe is the Director of Data Management, Campus Box 8185, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8185 (eloise_neebe@unc.edu).

The Key Family Life Project Investigators include Lynne Vernon Feagans, Martha Cox, Clancy Blair, Peg Burchinal, Linda Burton, Keith Crnic, Nan Crouter, Patricia Garrett-Peters, Doug Granger, Mark Greenberg, Stephanie Lanza, Adele Miccio, Roger Mills-Koonce, Deborah Skinner, Cynthia Stifter, Lorraine Taylor, Emily Werner, and Mike Willoughby.

Abstract

Abstract: We introduce family researchers to the Occupational Information Network, or O*Net, an electronic database on the work characteristics of over 950 occupations. The paper here is a practical primer that covers data collection, selecting occupational characteristics, coding occupations, scale creation, and construct validity, with empirical illustrations from the Family Life Project, a study of almost 1,300 families with infants born in 6 low-income, nonmetro counties in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. We factor analyzed parents’ occupations on 35 O*Net characteristics and identified 5 factors: occupational self-direction, physical hazards, physical activity, care work, and automation/repetition, variables that supplement data collected from parents directly. Applied researchers can use the O*Net to expand their knowledge of participants’ work circumstances with objective data.

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