Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2017

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Counseling, Rehabilitation and Student Development

First Advisor

Klose Smith, Carol

Second Advisor

Duys, David


Compared to the heterosexual students, LGB college students appear to experience a different process of career decision-making. It is crucial to know the influence of both personal and environmental factors on the career decision-making process of LGB individuals when considering factors that affect LGB individuals’ career development. However, there has been limited effort to investigate the mechanisms interacting between individual and environmental factors in developing career decision-making among LGB college students. The current study examined the effects of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) identity on career decision-making self-efficacy. For this purpose, this study utilized a mediation model that incorporates a personal (self-compassion) and an environmental (social support) factor as key model variables. This study applied structural equation modeling (SEM) to identify mediating factors that contribute to career decision-making self-efficacy for LGB college students. 252 LGB college students completed the online-survey that included questionnaires to provide the data for this study: (a) demographic questionnaire, (b) the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Identity Scale (Mohr & Kendra, 2011), the Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, 2003a), the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (Zimet, Dahlem, Zimet, & Farley, 1988), and Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy-Short Form (Betz, Klien, & Taylor, 1996).

Structural equation modeling results supported the mediating effects of perceived social support and self-compassion. More specifically, three-path mediated effects (Taylor, MacKinnon, & Tein, 2007) showed that LGB identity development was associated with perceived social support, which in turn was linked with increased self-compassion, resulting in greater self-efficacy in career decision-making. In addition, a two-path mediated effect showed that perceived social support mediated the relationship between LGB identity development and career decision-making self-efficacy in a positive direction.

These results indicate that after initiated by LGB identity development, a personal (i.e., self-compassion) and an environmental (i.e., social support) factor are meaningful antecedents when developing LGB individuals’ self-efficacy in career decision-making. The primary implications for college and career counselors include: 1) considering both individual and social contextual factors in planning intervention for LGB college students’ career decision-making, and 2) conducting a holistic assessment practices to explore LGB clients’ personal and social contextual factors, and 3) how those factors interact in career decision-making processes. Implications for counselor educators include increasing sexual minorities’ career related issues into curricula, and providing specific career models that share pragmatic tools. Areas for future research are also discussed.


viii, 112 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 91-112).


Copyright © 2017 Hansori Jang