Factorial Invariance of the Indecision Scale of the Career Decision Scale: A Multigroup Confirmatory Factor Analysis

Article excerpt

Results of a multigroup confirmatory factor analysis (N = 686) indicated factorial invariance of a 3-factor model of the Indecision scale of the Career Decision Scale (CDS; Osipow, Carney, Winer, Yanico, & Koschier, 1976). Differential item function was not observed when ΔCFI (comparative fit index) was used for comparison of models, thus indicating strong measurement invariance across gender. Men had significantly greater latent means for all 3 dimensions of career indecision. Given the multidimensional structure, use of the CDS may provide an initial step to help practitioners identify possible factors that are responsible for a client's career indecision. Clients may need assistance for initiating a career search, information to help them identify career possibilities for a chosen major, or detailed information concerning several possible careers that are under consideration.

Keywords: career indecision, measurement invariance, confirmatory factor analysis

The Career Decision Scale (CDS; Osipow, Carney, Winer, Yanico, & Koschier, 1976) provides reliable assessment of career indecision, and it has been recommended for assessment prior to determining appropriate interventions for resolving career indecision. The CDS has utility for yielding one total score of indecision (Osipow, 1994); thus, it has been used to provide a global measure of indecision in cluster analytic research (Niles, Erford, Hunt, & Watts, 1997) and criterion validity research (Guerra & Braungart-Rieker, 1999), and it has been used as an outcome measure following an intervention (Jürgens, 2000; Kelly & Pulver, 2003). However, use of multiple CDS indecision scales may be more informative for understanding the antecedents of career indecision (Vondracek, 1991).

There has been some debate concerning the factor structure of the Indecision scale. A four-factor structure was identified initially (Osipow, Carney, & Barak, 1976), which included lack of confidence with decision making, perception of barriers to a career decision, perception of a conflict that involves two or more alternatives, and personal conflict. This structure was supported in other studies (Chartrand & Robbins, 1990; Schulenberg, Shimizu, Vondracek, & Hostetler, 1988; Shimizu, Vondracek, Schulenberg, & Hostetler, 1988; Vondracek, Hostetler, Schulenberg, & Shimizu, 1990), although issues were raised about its dimensional structure without additional theoretical and clinical knowledge (Laplante, Coallier, Sabourin, & Martin, 1994).

Kelly and Lee (2002) investigated the dimensions of career indecision using exploratory factor analysis. Instruments included the CDS and two additional instruments, the Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire (Gati, Krausz, & Osipow, 1996) and the Career Factors Inventory (Chartrand, Robbins, Morrill, & Boggs, 1990). The sample included lst-year students who were undecided about a career. Three interpretable factors that included more than one CDS item were identified: Identity Diffusion, Positive Choice Conflict, and Tentative Decision. A recent confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) supports this structure (Feldt et al., 2010) when the CDS is used alone.

Given this structure, the CDS has the potential to do more than simply serve as a global measure of career indecision or as a possible outcome measure. Rather, it has the potential to identify three facets of career indecision. However, its utility depends on the extent to which assessment is invariant across gender, the generalizability aspect of construct validity (Messick, 1995). The present study builds on the previous analysis (Feldt et al., 2010) to determine the extent to which CDS items are invariant across gender. I hypothesized that the CDS Indecision items are invariant across gender.

Method

A total of 686 undergraduate college students (521 women and 165 men) were recruited from introductory psychology, nursing, and sociology classes. …