Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Spring 2010

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Counseling, Rehabilitation and Student Development

First Advisor

Jodi Saunders

Abstract

Although much has been written about the relationship between career maturity and career decision self-efficacy of college students, the literature review provided no studies that investigated the relationship between career maturity, career decision self-efficacy, and self-advocacy; therefore the purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between career maturity, career decision self-efficacy, and self-advocacy of college students with and without disabilities. An increasing number of college students with disabilities are attending postsecondary institutions, and the figures are continuing to increase; however, students with disabilities earn lower grades in college than their peers without disabilities, take longer to complete their degrees, have higher dropout rates, and are more likely to be unemployed after college. This quantitative study responds to recent calls in the postsecondary literature for individuals with disabilities to be better prepared when they transition from college. Participants included 347 postsecondary students, 89 of whom reported having a disability. Primarily focused on students with disabilities, this study gathered information regarding postsecondary students' attitudes toward careers, beliefs in their ability to pursue careers, and their self-advocacy knowledge in order to investigate the relationship among them. This study provides empirical support that there is a relationship between career maturity, career decision self-efficacy, and self-advocacy.

The results of the correlation, MANOVA, ANOVA, and hierarchical regression analyses provided four major findings and implications. First, there was a positive correlation between career maturity, career decision self-efficacy, and self-advocacy of college students with and without a disability. Second, the results of the study indicated that students without a disability had higher levels of career maturity and self-advocacy than students with a disability; however, the self-efficacy scores were similar for students with and without a disability. Third, the results of the study focusing specifically on students with disabilities indicated that the career maturity of students who had a high level of self-advocacy was higher than for the students who had a low level of self-advocacy. However, there was no difference in levels of self-advocacy and career decision self-efficacy of college students with disabilities. Fourth, the results of this study focusing specifically on students with disabilities indicated that self-advocacy and career decision self-efficacy were the only variables that positively affected career maturity. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords

Career Decision Self-Efficacy, Career Maturity, Self-Advocacy, Students with Disabilities

Pages

2, x, 153 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 139-153).

Copyright

Copyright 2010 Quiteya Dawn Walker

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