Ann Roe need theory and its application


Ann Roe a clinical psychologist who developed a theory which is sometimes known as need theory. The theory which was postulated by Roe states that motivational factors play a vital role in determining one’s occupational choice. Ann Roe’s view was that an individual need determines his level of interest and that occupational choice is the primary means of need satisfaction.

       According to Roe (1956), a child’s future occupational choices depends upon how he/she was treated by her parent. She developed a theory related to parenting style and occupational choices. That is to say that early childhood experiences have a link occupation choices. Her theory is based and rooted in Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that are not fully satisfied but can be important motivators in our occupational choices.

       Maslow (1954), came up with the theory of the hierarchy of need. It was after Maslow’s theory in the year 1954 that roe postulated her own theory related to parenting styles and occupational choices using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Maslow’s theory of motivation.

       Maslow (1954), states that if a number of features of a persons need are unsatisfied at any given time, the satisfaction of the most prominent one will be more pressing than that of others.

The assumption of Maslow’s theory.

       Maslow’s theory is based on the following assumptions

  1. man is always wanting and needy just like every other animal.
  2. total satisfaction of the needs is almost impossible.
  3. these needs are graded according to their order of importance.
  4. when ones a pressing need is satisfied, another need emerges.
  5. a satisfied need becomes unimportant and undervalues by the individual.

The needs identified by Maslow in relation to Ann roe’s occupational theory.

  1. physiological needs: according to Maslow’s (1954) physiological needs are the basic needs which control other needs. They include food water, clothing’s shelter, etc. Maslow maintained that when this need is in operation other needs are pushed to the background until the basic needs are satisfied. According to Ann roe, if the parents fail to provide the basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing the child will grow up being wayward and the child’s career will be mined.

These are the physical requirement for human survival if these requirements are not met the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail physiological needs are thought to be the most important. They should be met first. Roe opined that if parents fail to provide adequate attention to their children the child might lose control of his future career. Children in this category lack value because their basic needs are ignored.

Safety needs Maslow (1954) that when physiological needs are satisfied the individual’s safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior. Due to war, natural disaster, family violence, childhood abuse, etc people may experience post-traumatic stress disorder. According to Maslow, this level is more likely to be found in children because they generally have a greater need to feel safe. Safety and security needs include personal security financial security, health and well being, safety net against accident/illness and their adverse impacts.

Love and belonging: after physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third level of human the need is interpersonal and involves feelings of belongingness. This need is especially strong in childhood and can override the need for safety as witnessed in children who cling to abusive parents. Deficiencies within this level of Maslow’s hierarchy due to hospitalism, neglect, shunning, ostracism can impact the individual’s ability to form and maintain emotionally significant relationships in general such as friendship, intimacy, family. According to Maslow, the human need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social group.

Esteem needs: this has to do with self-respect, self-regard, reputation, etc. people want to be rated high, to be respected by people around them and failure to attract good status from others such as parents, siblings, guardians family and friends will produce personally disorder.

Achievement needs: This is the cause of human and struggle. A student spends a sleepless night in order to achieve success. This achievement need motivates man toward greater action.

Aesthetic needs: every individual need or gets attracted to beautiful things. This is why people spend a huge amount of money to ensure that they drive the best care, own the best house and beautify their rooms and even themselves.

Self-actualization: this is the highest needs of man. At this level, an individual has a positive self-concept, self-reliance, self actualize person can say to himself “yes I have made it” he looks at himself as successful, he has no room for negative thinking.

       In summary, Ann roe’s occupational theory is strongly rooted in Abraham Maslow’s theory of motivation. Roe draws heavily from Maslow. According to roe (1956), a child’s future occupational choices depends on her early childhood experiences. If the child’s physiological needs which is prominent of all needs are not met, even if one misses everything in the life of the individual including his or her future career is in shamble. A child who is lacking safety, love, and esteem would definitely look for food, shelter, and clothing more strongly than anything else. Roe (1956), parenting style broke parenting style into three major categories, they include, emotionally concentrated, avoidance prone and accepting.

       Emotionally concentrated: for Roe, the parent in this category are overprotective, or too demanding. The in this category learn to follow the rules and become dependent upon the approval of others for self-esteem. A child whose parent is emotionally concentrated always depend on people for self-respect, self-regard, self valuation, reputation, status, fame. Maslow (1954), in his write up, opined that esteem needs have to do with the need for self-respect, self-regard, reputation, self valuation, status, and fame. He also maintained that people want to be rated high, to be respected by people around and failure to attract good status from others would produce personality disorder.

Avoidance: Roe (1956), maintained that parent in this category range from those who neglect their children to those who reject them. Children in this category believe they lack value because their basic needs are ignored by the parents. According to Roe, such a person may grow up to look at non-person or things as a way of gaining satisfaction. Such people may choose an occupation in the science or mechanical areas.

Accepting: Roe (1956), maintained parents in this category accept their children as they are and met their need both physical and psychological needs. Such as child can balance both his personal and non-personal interest and the child is encouraged and independent. They can go for a person-oriented job or thing oriented job.


Anne Roe theory can be applied in my local community by organizing a seminar for parent and youth especially the couple who are attending marriage training. In the churches or anywhere that they have marriage training center a counselor who is professionally trained should be invited as a resources person. The counselor should be able to explain to what marriage and family are all about and the role of parents to their children. The counselor should tell the client about the three parenting style identified by Freud and its implication on their children’s future career. For instance,

       Emotionally concentrated parents are overprotective or too demanding. The counselor should let them know the type of children on people that they can raise, the children always depend on people for self valuation, self-regard, self-respect status, and fame, the children will always depend on others for everything they do. The counselor should counsel the client based on their parenting style.

Avoidance parents: Roe maintained in his work that parents in this category neglect and reject their children. Children in this category lack value because their basic needs are ignored by their parent and such children may grow up feeling rejected and the child will look on non- person or thing as a way of gaining satisfaction. The counselor should educate the parent on the implication of avoiding or rejecting their children.

Accepting parent: Roe (1956) opined that parent in this category accept their children, provide for them. They ensure that their children’s needs are met both physical and psychological needs such children can balance both his personal and non-personal interest and the child will be encouraged and independent. The counselor should counsel such parent never to relent in providing their children’s needs.

       In other words, guidance and counselor professional should be employed in the school system so that students and pupils can be assisted in their choice of career. The counselor should organize seminars and workshop for parents, they should tell them the implication of parent neglecting and avoiding their children needs.



Drop your comment, question or suggestion for the post improvement

error: Content is protected !!
Open chat
WhatsApp Now
We can get that stress off your shoulder.

You can call now on +2348060755653 or click below to chat.
%d bloggers like this: