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The Development of Career Attitudes Over Time: A Longitudinal Examination of Social Cognitive Career Theory Todd A. Brahler.

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Presentation on theme: "The Development of Career Attitudes Over Time: A Longitudinal Examination of Social Cognitive Career Theory Todd A. Brahler."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Development of Career Attitudes Over Time: A Longitudinal Examination of Social Cognitive Career Theory Todd A. Brahler

2 Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate the nature of the temporal relationships between the predictor-criterion variables in accordance with Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994). Psychology students (N = 74) concurrent levels of self-efficacy, outcome expectations, interests, and goals were measured at monthly intervals four times during the course of a 15-week semester. Results suggest that the relationships between predictor-criterion variables get stronger over time.

3 Constructs of Social Cognitive Career Theory Self-Efficacy (SE) Beliefs regarding ones ability to succeed in a particular career field. Outcome Expectations (OE) Beliefs regarding the positive outcomes of a particular career. Three classes: physical (e.g., financial), social (e.g., approval), and self-evaluative (e.g., personal satisfaction; Bandura, 1986). Interests Patterns of likes, dislikes, and indifferences regarding career-relevant topics or activities. Choice Intentions or Goals The determination or intent to engage in a course of action or to effect a future outcome.

4 Fundamental Concepts of SCCT SE and OE are influenced by educational and occupationally relevant learning experiences (See Figure 1). Relative levels of SE and OE are positively related to ones interest in a particular career path. People form enduring interests in activities in which they view themselves to be efficacious and in which they anticipate positive outcomes (Bandura, 1986; as cited by Lent et al., 1994, p. 89) Interests are positively related to choice intentions (i.e., intending to pursue or not pursue a particular career path) which could influence choice actions (i.e., formally declaring a major or changing majors).

5 Fundamental Concepts of SCCT The career choice phase can be divided into three component processes. Selecting a major in accordance ones interests (i.e., choice intentions) Enrolling in an academic program (i.e., choice action) Subsequent performance attainments (e.g., academic successes or failures) Performance attainments dictate the perceived outcome of subsequent academic and occupationally relevant learning experiences by way of the feedback loop. Learning experiences affect future career behavior via the interrelations between self-efficacy, outcome expectations, interests, and choice intentions.

6 Figure 1: Social Cognitive Model of Career Development (Lent et al., 1994)

7 Rationale for the Current Study The Lent et al. (1994) model, with its causal pathways and feedback loop, is cyclical in nature and longitudinal in scope (Nauta & Epperson, 2003, p. 449) SCCT was conceptualized as a dynamic process (Lent et al., 1994). A single learning experience could impact SCCT constructs at different points in time. Past research (e.g., Nauta et al., 2002) suggest that the self- efficacy-interest relationship becomes stronger over time. Due to the cyclical nature of the model and the hypothetical paths, it is possible that the relations between predictor and criterion variables could change from one point in time to another. Historically, though, researchers have not followed up on participants levels of SCCT constructs over an extended period of time to determine if these relations change or remain constant.

8 Participants 74 undergraduate students 47 freshman, 12 sophomore, 6 juniors, 8 seniors, and 1 post-baccalaureate Ages ranged from 18 to 53 years (M = 21.49, SD = 5.92) 18 male, 56 female 60 Caucasians, 10 African Americans, 3 Hispanic Americans, and 1 classified as Other Nationality All students were enrolled in Professional and Career Issues in Psychology (PCI) during the fall semester of 2005

9 Procedure The PCI class was chosen because it provides students with an educational and occupationally relevant learning experience, which Lent et al. (1994) proposed was important in students vocational exploratory choices and behavior. Surveys were administered at monthly intervals four times during a 15-week semester. Those students who completed all four surveys received six extra credit points and a personal profile of the progression of their career attitudes over the course of the semester.

10 Measures The survey was developed to measure students concurrent levels of SE, OE, interests, and goals. Participants responded to each item using a 7-point scale ranging from 1 (i.e., strongly disagree) to 7 (i.e., strongly agree). Survey items addressed issues relevant to a career in psychology. Self-Efficacy: I believe I can be successful in a psychology career. Outcome Expectations: A psychology career would make me financially secure. Interests: I am interested in learning how to perform psychological research. Choice Intentions: I intend to pursue graduate study in psychology. Item responses were summed and divided by the total number of items, yielding a total score that could range from 1 to 7, with a higher score indicating a higher level of a particular construct.

11 Correlational Analysis The Z r -Based Pearson-Filon (ZPF) Procedure is used to compare nonoverlapping correlations between two variables at two points in time. k =(r13 r23 r12)(r24 r23 r34) + (r14 r13 r34)(r23 r13 r12) + (r13 r14r34)(r24 r14 r12) + (r14 r12r24)(r23 r24r34)

12 CORRELATION TRENDS

13 Statistical Analysis and Results ZPF Procedures were conducted to compare correlations between predictor and criterions at Time 2, Time 3, and Time 4 relative to Time 1. Correlations at Time 2 were not significantly larger. Correlations at Time 3 were significantly larger between self- efficacy and interests; and outcome expectations and interests. Correlations at Time 4 were significantly larger for (a) self- efficacy and interests; (b) outcome expectations and interests; (c) outcome expectations and choice intentions; and (d) interests and choice intentions. Despite the appearance of a decreasing trend from Time 1 to Time 3, the correlations between self-efficacy and choice intentions showed no significant change over the course of the 15-week semester.

14 Results of the ZPF Procedure TIME 1 to Time 4r 12 r 34 ZPFp-value OE-Goals OE-Interests SE-Interests SE-Goals Interests-Goals TIME 1 to TIME 3r 12 r 34 ZPFp-value OE-Goals OE-Interests SE-Interests SE-Goals Interests-Goals

15 Conclusions The observed trends confirm the cyclical nature of the Lent et al. (1994) model. The data suggest that the relationships between SCCT predictor and criterion variables strengthen over time.


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