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Deferred Gratification, Social Class, and the Achievement Syndrome

Murray A. Straus
American Sociological Review
Vol. 27, No. 3 (Jun., 1962), pp. 326-335
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2089794
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Deferred Gratification, Social Class, and the Achievement Syndrome
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Abstract

The theoretical and research literature on self-imposed postponement of gratifications or satisfactions is reviewed with emphasis on the relation of such a "Deferred Gratification Pattern" (DGP) to social class and social mobility. Three hypotheses growing out of this review were tested on 338 male high school students. The hypothesis of a deferred gratification pattern received some support from the fact that scales with reproducibilities from .92 to .96 were developed for deferment of five adolescent needs (affiliation, aggression, consumption, economic independence, and sex); and by the intercorrelation of these scales. The hypothesis of positive correlation between socioeconomic status and DGP was not supported. The hypothesis of positive correlation between the DGP scales and achievement role-performance and role-orientation was supported. These relationships were not eliminated by controls for socioeconomic status and intelligence. Findings are interpreted as supporting the theory that need deferment is functional for social mobility in American society.

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