Exploring career decision-making self-efficacy, career maturity attitudes, and racial identity attitudes of college students of color
Sneva, Jacob N.
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American higher education is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse and researchers have suggested that more attention should be given to better understanding the career development of college students of color. Although there is substantial research on career development and the career decision-making process, studies have overwhelmingly primarily used data collected from White participants. Thus, little research has been done on the career development of people of color and specifically, college students of color. The primary focus of this study was to explore relationships between career decision-making self-efficacy, career maturity attitudes, and racial identity attitudes of college students of color. In addition, the study explored relationships between career decision-making self-efficacy, career maturity attitudes, and various demographic and life experience variables. A sample of 164 college students of color attending five institutions of higher education in the Western New York area was used for this study. A survey packet consisting of four separate self-report instruments was completed by each participant. This study employed a multiple correlation and regression survey research design which was used to examine relationships between variables. This study generated a number of important findings. First, strong relationships where found between career decision-making self-efficacy and career maturity attitudes for this sample. Second, career decision-making self-efficacy and career maturity attitudes were related both positively and negatively, depending upon participants' current racial identity status, to participants' racial identity attitudes. Third, participants' age, year in college, academic major, mother's educational level, and family income were predictors of their confidence in their ability to make a career choice that would meet their preferred lifestyle. Lastly, none of the remaining demographic variables were related to either career development construct. This study also explored the implications of the findings on career counseling with students of color, student affairs and academic advising practice, and higher education policy. Overall, this study provides new and relevant information regarding the career and racial identity development of college students of color, a very limited body of scholarly literature.
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