Career indecision in a college student sample : further evidence pertaining to multiple subtypes



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Results of recent studies have indicated the existence of multiple subgroups among vocationally undecided college students. Further study relative to their existence was undertaken here. John Holland’s four categories of decision-making difficulty, (a) vocational identity, (b) lack of educational or occupational information, (c) environmental or personal barriers, and (d) no problem were used as the independent variable and hypotheses associated with membership in each of these subgroups were tested. Eighty-three undergraduates between the ages of 17-25 who had not yet chosen a career completed four instruments. Of this number, 77 were undeclared majors and 6 were vocational counseling clients. Reasons for Vocational Choice, an instrument designed for the study, placed the student in one of the four subgroups and served to define the independent variable. Dependent variables included two scales from the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory, (Campbell, 1974) for Hypothesis 1 (Vocational Identity subgroup) and Hypothesis 4 (No Problem subgroup). Number of jobs held within the last five years served as the dependent variable for Hypothesis 2. The third hypothesis pertaining to Environmental or Personal Barriers was eliminated because only two students comprised this group. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was employed to test the three hypotheses and was not significant. Reasons for absence of significant findings were seen as theoretical, poor choice of dependent measures, e.g., percentage of Indifferent responses on the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory (Campbell, 1974), and lack of discriminative power of the two measures for Lack of Educational or Occupational Information and No Problem. Finally, sampling issues of non-randomness and self-selection of vocationally undecided students were discussed as possible contributory factors. Suggestions for further study were offered. These included: (a) more complete and detailed descriptions of undecided students; (b) utilization of multivariate research designs; and (c) development of better and more reliable instruments to assess underlying reasons for vocational indecision.



Vocational interests