We introduce family researchers to the Occupational Information Network, or O*Net, an electronic data-base 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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)