Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Ali, Saba Rasheed

First Committee Member

Liu, William

Second Committee Member

Nicpon, Megan Foley

Third Committee Member

Ehly, Stewart

Fourth Committee Member

Adams, Lori


Health disparities continue to persist in the United States, with individuals in rural areas often experiencing greater health concerns and health outcomes than individuals living in suburban or urban areas. Lack of access to healthcare providers is one contributing factor to these disparities. Studies have shown that healthcare providers from rural areas are more likely to return to those areas to work. Increasing pipeline education programs within K-12 settings may help create a larger pool of rural individuals interested in healthcare professions. Connecting education and careers to the well-being of a community may help students to see how their future careers can contribute to the vitality of their community, such as through sociopolitical development. This dissertation evaluated and compared the effectiveness of two conditions of an existing healthcare career education program, Project HOPE. The seven-week intervention was implemented with rural 8th grade students within the context of a seminar class. The results of the study showed, overall, that the intervention is effective at increasing healthcare career search self-efficacy; however, the findings suggest that it decreases community engagement. In contrast to the hypothesis, the results showed that the standard condition of the intervention was more effective at increasing socio-cognitive variables than the sociopolitical development condition. The findings are discussed in context of existing literature and with consideration to the sociopolitical context in which the intervention was implemented. Implications of the findings for vocational psychologists, as well as future directions of study are discussed.


adolescents, career/vocational intervention, healthcare careers, rural, SCCT


x, 102 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 92-102).


Copyright © 2018 Samantha Danielle Brown