Academic journal article Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD

Psychometric Evaluation of the Career Decision Scale with Iranian Undergraduate Students

Academic journal article Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD

Psychometric Evaluation of the Career Decision Scale with Iranian Undergraduate Students

Article excerpt

Crites (1974) defined career indecision as an "inability of the individual to select or commit her/himself to a particular course of action which will eventually lead to preparation for entering a specific occupation" (p. 303). Career indecision is a major concern of counselors and psychologists, especially with regard to young adults because they are in the midst of making critical life decisions (Betz, 1992). Fadaei Nasab (2012) found that almost 85% of Iranian undergraduate students reported that they were undecided about their careers. To date, several instruments have been developed to measure career indecision, including the widely used Career Decision Scale (CDS; Osipow, Carney, & Barak, 1976). Since its development, the CDS has been used in numerous studies (e.g., Campagna & Curtis, 2007; Fuqua, Newman, & Seaworth, 1988; Hartman & Fuqua, 1982; Obana, 2007; Vondracek, Hostetler, Schulenberg, & Shimizu, 1990).

The CDS was developed based on a rationale that a finite number of relatively discrete problems prevent people from reaching educational and vocational decisions (Osipow, 1987). The scale is potentially useful for counselors and researchers, and it provides an estimate of career indecision, its antecedents, and an outcome measure to determine the effects of relevant interventions for career choice and development (Walsh & Osipow, 1995). The original development of the CDS was based on an overall plan to develop items that determine components and antecedents on career indecision. In the early 1970s, Osipow and his colleagues produced a group of audiotaped interventions to be used for each of the specified antecedents of career indecision for self-assessment for individuals who were undecided about their careers. Later in 1976, the audiotaped scripts were transformed into the set of scale items that shaped the CDS (see Winer, 1992).

Since the development of the CDS, several studies have reported its reliability and validity with adolescents and young adults. In the CDS manual, Osipow (1987) reported a summary of the scale's reliability and validity studies. Findings of two studies (Osipow et al., 1976; Slaney, Palko-Nonemaker, & Alexander, 1981) on college students revealed test-retest correlations of .90 and .82 for the Indecision scale, respectively. In addition, Hartman, Utz, and Farnum (1979) reported a test-retest reliability of .61 with graduate students over a 2-week period. Evidence of concurrent validity of the CDS has been reported by several researchers. In Osipow and Schweikert (1981), the CDS overall scores were negatively correlated with the Assessment of Career Decision Making (Harren, 1976). In addition, the Vocational Decision Scale (Tores, as cited in Winer, 1992) and My Vocational Situation (Holland, Gottfredson, & Power, 1980) revealed correlations with the CDS ranging from .85 to .90, indicating concurrent validity between the CDS and two similar instruments.

Another area of interest in validity studies has been the possibility of correlations between career indecision as measured by the CDS and other personality variables. Findings of early studies (e.g., Cellini, Taylor, as cited in Winer, 1992) have shown that high levels of career indecision were associated with external locus of control and fear of success. Several more recent studies revealed significant relationships between career indecision and anxiety, career decision self-efficacy, neuroticism, and fear of commitment (Campagna & Curtis, 2007; Fadaei Nasab, 2012; Guay, Senecal, Gauthier, & Fernet, 2003; Obana, 2007).

The factor structure of the CDS has stimulated much discussion and research. In an original factor analysis of the CDS, four factors were identified: Lack of Structure, External Barriers, Approach-Approach Problems, and Personal Conflict. These factors accounted for 81% of the total variance (Osipow et al., 1976). Other investigations, however, could not replicate the original factor structure of the scale. …

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