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Discussion

This research aimed at exploring and verifying relationships between trait El and career indecision variables, specifically between trait El and emotional and personality-related aspects of career decision-making difficulties, involving also other personality and career-related variables (i.e., generalized and career decision self-efficacy). The variables were based on the assessment of career decision-making difficulties, trait El, and the generalized and career decision self-efficacy of high-school students in the phase of their career decision-making before their second career choice. They were investigated by global trait El assessed by Petrides’s TEIOue-SF (2009) two self-efficacy measures: the Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES) by Schwarzer and Jeruzalem (1995) and the Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form (CDSE-SF) by Betz et al. (1996); and career decision-making difficulties by the Emotional and Personality Difficulties Scale of Saka et al. (2008) in the research sample of 322 Slovak high-school students.

First, three hypotheses were aimed at studying relations among the variables involved. Correlation analysis showed negative relations between global career decision-making difficulties and both self-efficacy measures (generalized and career decision), positive relations between the two self- efficacy measures (generalized and career decision), and negative relations between trait El and global career decision-making difficulties. The findings on negative relations between global career decision-making difficulties and both self-efficacy measures (generalized and career decision) support the previous findings of Betz et al. (1996), Choi et al. (2012), Jaensch et al. (2015) and Rassin et al. (2007). These aforementioned studies have found inverse relationships between career decision self-efficacy and career indecision, specifically career decision-making difficulties as defined in Gati et al.’s (1996) model and identified by the CDDQ measuring almost exclusively the developmental aspect of career decision-making difficulties. Using the EPCD in our study we supported the above-mentioned findings as valid also for other measures of career indecision, specifically for emotional and personality- related aspects of career decision-making difficulties as defined in the model of Saka et al. (2008). The result suggests that students with more pervasive, stable emotional, and personality-related career decision-making difficulties show lower self-efficacy regarding their own abilities. This result suggests that students who believe in their own abilities might show higher readiness to make career decisions. Conversely, individuals who do not trust their skills seem not to handle career choices well because they might avoid decision tasks and therefore remain undecided longer.

The findings on negative relations between global career decision-making difficulties and general self-efficacy support the findings by Di Fabio and Pallazzeschi (2012). Our study also shows comparable relations between career decision-making difficulties and both self-efficacy measures (career decision as well as generalized) suggesting that the latter variables are important in the career decision-making process. These relationships apply not only in the context of more developmental aspects of career decision-making difficulties but also in the case of more pervasive, stable emotional, and personality-related aspects of career decision-making difficulties (as specified in the model by Saka et ah, 2008). The result suggests that negative self-perceptions lead to problems in career decision-making.

As expected, individuals who showed higher global trait El displayed few'er career decision-making difficulties, both in overall difficulties and in all three clusters of difficulties as defined in the model by Saka et al. (2008). The strongest negative correlation was found between the global level of trait El and the third major cluster of difficulties defined as “self-concept and identity” corresponding with trait El conceptualization as aspects of emotions- related personality traits. The studies indicate that El is inversely associated with decision-making difficulties. Our findings support previously mentioned studies on the relationship between El and career decision-making difficulties and suggests that this relationship is independent from the El model compared (e.g., Mayer-Salovey’s ability, Bar On’s mixed, and Petrides’s trait El models). The relationship with El is also independent from the taxonomy of career decision-making difficulties compared (e.g., Gati’s model of developmental aspects of career decision-making difficulties and Saka, Gati, and Kelly’s model on pervasive, stable emotional, and personality-related aspects).

The second aim of the study w'as related to identifying how the specific domains of trait El predicted aspects of career decision-making difficulties and, exploring whether trait El and its factors can be predictive above other personality and career-related variables. Based on the regression analyses we found that trait El was a significant negative predictor of career decisionmaking difficulties, over and above the career decision-making self-efficacy level. Trait El predicted a significant (almost 3 percent) unique variance supporting incremental validity of trait El with a remaining partial correlation of r=-.200. We also found that two trait El factors, self-control and sociability, remained significant, predicting more than 7 percent of unique variance in career decision-making difficulties. Only the self-control factor remained in significant negative relation (r=-.291) to career difficulties w'hile controlling for other variables in the model.

We are aw'are also of several limitations in our research, in particular the choice of high-school students from one region in Slovakia. Also, the specific research sample does not allow' for the generalization of the results to other subject groups and the use of self-report instruments increases the risk of the desirability effect. The study design itself also has constraints. However, despite these limitations, the results are encouraging.

 
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