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Environmental Influence on Military Transition


Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky was a Russian Psychologist and researcher who began his psychological career in 1917 following the Russian Revolution (Vygotsky, 1978). Vygotsky’s research finding and writings in linguistics, child development and learning, development and higher functioning, and psychology as a field were translated into English and published in 1962. Vygotsky’s theories and research are credited with a strong influence on American learning and development researchers from the translation of his works to present. Vygotsky posited that learning was not an internal but an external process that was not linked to the stages of human development (p.79). The social and cultural cues imitated by children are transmitted and learned through observations provide through the interaction with others within their environments.

The conceptualization of the origins of the career transition construct is best viewed through the combined lenses of adult development and career development theories (Robertson, 2010, p.17). Career research dates back to Parson’s (1909) book, “Choosing a Vocation,” which introduced the concept of the person-environmental fit (McDaniels, 1994; Wang & Wanberg, 2017).

Retiring and transitioning military will have to work through the process of finding a new and fulfilling career. More research is needed to better understand the resilience needed to effectively cope and manage the transition process. Early preparation and developing a strong support network can mitigate the stress from an impending transition to a new and unknown work environment, possible relocation, and loss of military identity. Having a mentor and professional consultant help to navigate through the transition process will positively impact the success of the transition.


McDaniels, C. (1994). Frank Parsons: His heritage leads us into the 21st century. Journal of Career Development (Springer Science & Business Media B.V.), 20(4), 327-332.

Robertson, H. C. (2010). Life satisfaction among midlife career changers: A study of military members transitioning to teaching. (Doctoral dissertation) Retrieved from (Federal ID 20-4816538)

Wang, M. & Wanberg, C. R. (2017). 100 years of applied psychological research on individual careers: From career management to retirement. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 546-563.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Interaction between learning and development. In M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, and E. Souberman (Ed.), Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridege, MA: Harvard University Press.


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