An Overview of Dr. Nancy K. Schlossberg's Transition Theory
An Overview of Dr. Nancy K. Schlossberg's Transition Theory About Dr. Nancy K. Schlossberg • B.A. Sociology (1951) from Bernard College • • Ed.D. Counseling (1961) from Teachers College, Columbia University Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland in the Department of Counseling and Personnel Services • She has served on the faculties of Wayne State University, Howard University, and Pratt University • Dr. Schlossberg was the first woman executive at the American Council of Education, where she established the Office of Women in Higher Education • Currently, she is the President of a consulting firm, Transition Works (www.transitionguide.com) More on Dr. Schlossberg… • She is the past president of the National Career Development Association • She has received numerous awards including, NASPA’s “Outstanding Contribution to Literature and Research Award” • Her published books include: • Getting the Most out of College (2001) • Going to Plan B: How you can Cope, Regroup and Start your Life on a New Path (1996) • Improving Higher Education Environments for Adults (1989) • Counseling Adults in Transition (1984) • Perspectives on Counseling Adults (1978) • Dr. Schlossberg is an expert in the areas of adult development, adult transition, career development, adults as learners, and intergenerational relationships History • The Transition Theory (then called model) was first presented in an article called “A model for analyzing human adaptation” in The Counseling Psychologist journal in 1981 • The 1981 article was a prelude to her 1984 book called Counseling Adults in Transition • Successful in linking theory and practice by incorporating Egan’s Helping Model. • The Transition Theory was revised in 1989 and then in 1995 • Influenced by the works of Levinson, Neugarten, Erickson, Chickering, among others The Transition Theory • The theory resulted of a need for a framework that would facilitate an understanding of adults in transition and lead them to help they needed to cope with the ordinary and extraordinary process of living (Evans, et al., 1998) • Serves as a vehicle for analyzing human adaptation to transition • Transition: • Any event, or non-event that results in changed relationships, routines, assumptions and roles (Evans, et al., 1998) • Not considered a transition if the individual does not attach significance • Can be positive or negative transition • To understand meaning of transition, the context, type and impact must be analyzed The Transition Theory: Approaching Change, Taking Stock, and Taking Charge INDIVIDUALS MOVE THROUGH TRANSITION PHASES Moving in, Moving Through, and Moving Out The Transition Theory • The individual’s effectiveness in coping with transition depends on his or her “assets” and “liabilities”. Schlossberg identified four major sets of factors, known as the 4 S’s, that influence a person’s ability to cope with a transition : Situation, Self, Support, Strategies The 4 S’s: What to Consider… Situation •What kind of transition is it? •Is it a positive, negative, expected, unexpected, desired, or dreaded transition? •Did the transition come at the worst or best time possible? •Is it “on time” of “off schedule”? •Is it voluntary or imposed? •Is the individual at the beginning, middle or end of the transition (moving in, through, or out) Self •What kind of strengths and weaknesses does the individual bring to the situation? •Does he or she believe there are options? •Is he or she optimistic? •Personal and demographics characteristics (gender, age, health socio-economic status, race, etc.) Support Strategies •Does the person have support from family, friends, co-workers, and supervisors? •Does the person use several coping strategies or just one? •In what ways do people give support? •In what way do they hinder the person’s efforts to change? •Can the person creatively cope by changing the situation, changing the meaning of the situation or managing reactions to stress? Theory to Practice • In the 1995 revision, Schlossberg’s integrated the Cormier and Hackney Counseling Model to provide a useful vehicle for identifying effective action that can be taken to support individuals in transitions (Evans, et al., 1998). CORMIER AND HACKNEY COUNSELING MODEL • • RELATIONSHIP BUILDING • ASSESSMENT • GOAL SETTING • INTERVENTIONS TERMINATION AND FOLLOW-UP Strengths and Limitations Strengths • Versatility • Multiple perspectives • Continuously revised • User friendly • Great intervention model/tool Limitations • More research to needed related to diverse student populations, such as students of color, students with disabilities. Lesbian, gay and bisexual students, and international students References Alford, S.M. (1998). The impact of inner-city values on student social adjustment in commuter colleges. NASPA Journal, 35(3), 225-233. Chea, K. (in press). Validating underrepresented students’ college aspirations and college-going plans in a summer program for high school students. Retrieved on October 24, 2004, from http://forms.gradsch.psu.edu/equity/sroppapers/2002/CheaKeo.pdf. Cheng, D.X. (2004). Students’ sense of campus community: What it means, and what to do about it. NASPA Journal, 41 (2), 216-234. Cuyjet, M.J. (1998). Recognizing and addressing marginalization among AfricanAmerican college students. College Student Affairs Journal, 18 (1), 64-71. Evans, N.J., Forney, D.S., & Guido-DiBrito, F. (1998). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. References Farley, J.E. (2002). Contesting our everyday work lives: The retention of minority and working class sociology undergraduates. The Sociological Quarterly, 43 (1), 1-25. Fass Speakers Bureau (n.d.). Dr. Nancy K. Schlossberg. Retrieved November 1, 2004 from http://www.fasspr.com/fsb/NancySchlossberg.html Kirst-Ashman, K.K., and Hull Jr., C.H. (1999). Understanding Generalist Practice (2nd ed.). Chicago: Nelson-Hall Publishers. Kodama, C.M. (2002). Marginality of transfer commuter students. NASPA Journal, 39(3), 233-250. Paquette, D. and Ryan, J. (2001). Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory. Retrieved November 3, 2004 from http//:pt3.nl.edu/paquetteryanwebquest.pdf. Parker, M. & Flowers, L.A. (2003). The effects of racial identity on academic achievements and perceptions of campus connectedness on African American students at predominantly white institutions. College Student Affairs Journal, 22(2), 180-194. References Santiago, C. (2007). Overview of Schlossberg Transition Theory. Azusa Pacific University. Power-point presentation. Sargent, A.G. and Schlossberg, N.K. (1988). Managing adult transitions. Training & Development Journal, December 1988, 58-60. Schlossberg, N.K. & Entine, A.D. (Eds.). (1977). Counseling adults. Monterey: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company. Schlossberg, N.K. (1981). A model for analyzing human adaptation to transition. Counseling Psychologist, 9(2), 2-18. Schlossberg, N.K. (1984). Counseling adults in transitions. New York: Springer Publishing Company. Schlossberg, N.K. (1989). Marginality and mattering: Key issues in building community. In D.C. Roberts (Ed.), Designing campus activities to foster a sense of community (New Directions for Student Services, No. 48, 5-15). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. References Schlossberg, N.K., Lynch, A.Q., & Chickering, A.W. (1989). Improving higher education environments for adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Schlossberg, N.K. (1997). A model of worklife transitions. In R. Feller and G. Walz (Eds.), Career Transitions in Turbulent Times. Greensboro: Eric Counseling & Student Services Clearinghouse. Torosyan, R. (1999). Applying learning to life: A theoretical framework in context. Et Cetera, 56 (1), 3-24). Transition works…New ways to think about change. (n.d). About Nancy Schlossberg. Retrieved on November 1, 2004 on www.transitionguide.com University of Maryland. (n.d). College of Education News. Retrieved on November 1, 2004 from http://www.education.umd.edu/news/wnr0410.schlossbergLecture.html Woodward, V.S. & Sims, J.M. (2000). Programmatic approach to improving campus climate. NASPA Journal, 37(4), 539-552.