In an effort to understand the viability of inner-city adolescents' career choice goals, the purpose of this study was to predict relationships among person factors, environmental factors, career maturity, career decision-making self-efficacy, vocational outcome expectations, and viable career choice goals within this population. I predicted that greater career maturity and stronger support systems would significantly predict career decision-making self-efficacy and vocational outcome expectations. In turn, I hypothesized career decision-making self-efficacy and positive vocational outcome expectations would positively predict viable career choice goals among inner-city adolescents. Participants in this study were 220 10th through 12th grade inner-city adolescents, with a mean age of 16.33. Participants were recruited from a large metropolitan public school in the Midwestern United States. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire and five research measures: the Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form (CDSE-SF; Betz & Klein, 1996; Betz, Hammond, & Multon, 2005), the Structured Career Development Inventory (SCDI; Lapan, 2004), the Career Maturity Inventory-Attitudes Screening Form A-2 (CMI-A2; Crites, 1978), the Vocational Outcome Expectations-Revised (VOE-R; McWhirter & Metheny, 2009), and the Perceptions of Barriers Scale (POB; McWhirter, 1997). Results of structural equation modeling suggest that environmental supports (e.g., career maturity, proactivity, career exploration, perception of fewer barriers, instrumental and emotional support) were positively related to inner-city youths' efficacy to make career decisions as well as the expected outcomes of these career decisions. In line with Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT), career decision-making self-efficacy and vocational outcome expectations were positively related to career choice goals, such that inner-city adolescents with greater levels of career decision-making self-efficacy, more positive vocational outcome expectations, and higher levels of proactivity and academic achievement endorsed viable career choice goals. The need for improved early career interventions addressing career goal-setting is described. Limitations, implications, and recommendations for future research and practice are also outlined.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2010. Major:Educational Psychology. Advisor: Sherri Turner, Ph.D., 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 114 pages, appendices A-B.
Conkel Ziebell, Julia Louise.
Promoting viable career choice goals through career decision-making self-efficacy and career maturity in inner-city high school students: a test of social cognitive career theory..
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