A Sponsored Initiative

Life Interests: 1992 and 2012

In 2012 we conducted a 20-year follow-up of the Undergraduate Class of 1992 (N in 1992 = 496; N in 2012 = 157), along with a parallel study of the Class of 2012 (N = 307).  We also conducted a series of 17 videotaped interviews with members of the Wharton Undergraduate Classes of 1992 and 2012 to supplement the survey research.

We expect the results of this research to interest not only to those who care about Wharton students and alumni but also the larger audience of business professionals and educators interested in better understanding the profound transformation of business and society in the past two decades and what the Classes of 1992 and 2012 see when they look to the future.  The findings will be used to create teaching materials, inform business and social policy, and contribute to the research literature.

Personal Time Capsules — Class of 1992 Report

All of the 157 participating members of the Class of 1992 have received their own “personal time capsule,” which includes their individual responses to the surveys in 1992 and in 2012 as well as the averages and standard deviations for both the Class of 1992, then and now, and the Class of 2012.

Please click here to view the Table of Contents and a sample page.

Class of 2012 Report

The 307 participating members of the Class of 2012 have received a report that includes their classmates’ responses to our survey in 2012 as well as the averages and standard deviations of responses from the Class of 1992, both when they graduated in 1992 and again in 2012.

Please click here to view the Table of Contents and sample pages from the Class of 2012 Report.

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Findings

The first publication from our cross-generational study is Baby Bust: New Choices for Men and Women in Work and Family (Wharton Digital Press, 2013).  The data produced a stark discovery – the rate of graduates who plan to have children has dropped by nearly half over the past 20 years. At the same time, we found that men and women are now more aligned in their attitudes about dual-career relationships, and they are opting out of parenthood in equal proportions. But their reasons for doing so are quite different. The book uses the unique research to explain why so many young people are not planning to become parents and reveals good news, that there is a greater freedom of choice now, and bad, that new constraints are limiting people’s options.  Read more about our findings in the new book Baby Bust: New Choices for Men and Women in Work and Family (Wharton Digital Press, 2013) and see what others are saying about the book at our Books page.

Discussion Forum

Please visit our Forum to discuss ideas about this research and subscribe to stay informed.

Surveys

  • Click here for the Class of 1992 Time 1 Survey
  • Click here for the Class of 1992 Time 2 Survey — 2012
  • Click here for the Class of 2012 Time 1 Survey

Interviews of Classes of 1992 and 2012

In the days before graduation in May 2012 we interviewed members of the Classes of 1992 and 2012 listed below.  In these fascinating conversations we explored what these men and women think about their lessons learned at Wharton, their life and career values and aspirations, their greatest regrets, and their advice for future students.  Please stay tuned to this space to view videos of these conversations.

Class of 1992 Class of 2012
Glen Dils Faye Cheng
Christopher Do Michelle Lu
Rich Effress Michael Mayer
Ellen Haude Lexi Messmer
Victor Miller Penny Metchev
Thomas Peck Greg Rose
Jackie Reses Vani Sastri
Rogers Saks Adam Swick
Jason Wong

 

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