Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Using the Adult Career Concerns Inventory to Measure Task Involvement

Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Using the Adult Career Concerns Inventory to Measure Task Involvement

Article excerpt

The Adult Career Concerns Inventory (ACCI) uses an attitudinal item-response scale to measure the planning attitudes dimension of career adaptability. This study examined the psychometric properties of the ACCI when used with a behavioral item-response scale. Results supported the hypothesized unidimensionality of the ACCI-B Exploration subscales, which related as expected to vocational identity, need for occupational information, career choice certainty, and career indecision. Using a behavioral ACCI item-response scale, in addition to an attitudinal one, may provide counselors with important information when working with client's making an initial career choice.

The Adult Career Concerns Inventory (ACCI; Super, Thompson, Lindeman, Jordaan, & Myers, 1988) evolved from the Career Development Inventory-Adult Form (CDI-A). Super, Zelkowitz, and Thompson ( 1975) constructed the CDI-A to measure degree of development through the career stages of exploration, establishment, maintenance, and disengagement. The CDI-A uses behavioral response options ranging from "I have not yet thought much about it" (1) to "I have already done this" (5) to assess concern and involvement with three developmental tasks of each of these four stages. The CDI-A can be scored for task involvement by using the Life Stage method. Life stage scores are obtained by summing the ratings ( 1 to 5) for all items in each stage of career development. Savickas, Passen, and Jarjoura ( 1988) noted that task concern scores can be obtained by summing items rated 2 ("I have thought about it, but don't know what to do"), 3 ("I know what to do about it"), and 4 ("I am now doing what needs to be done").

A critical point in the ACCI's history involved changing the CDIA item-response scale from behavioral (e.g., "I am now doing what needs to be done") to attitudinal (e.g., "great concern"). This change reflects the general difference between adolescent and adult career development; adolescents, as a group, generally face the same developmental tasks, whereas career development in adulthood is more variable. Super and Knasel (1981) reasoned that the term career maturity adequately describes the relative homogeneity of adolescent career development. Adult career development, however, requires a different descriptive construct. Super and Knasel thus coined the term career adaptability to capture the greater variability in degree of career development among adults. Career adaptability refers to adults' readiness to cope with changing work and work conditions (Savickas, 1994). To assess career adaptability, Super et al.(1988) retained the items from the CDI-A, revised the CDI-A response options, and renamed the CDI-A the ACCI. Unlike the CDI-A, which measures degree of career development, the ACCI indexes career adaptability by using an attitudinal itemresponse scale measuring vocational task concern only.

The change in response format and concomitant decline of the CDI-A has resulted in a useful measure of career concern (i.e., the ACCI), for counselors to have, but no available measure of degree of development. Determining the validity of CDI-A-type items with a behavioral response set may rectify this situation and indicate whether counselors could benefit from data provided by a measure of task involvement, in addition to data provided by the ACCI. This study, therefore, assessed the psychometric attributes of four ACCI subscales used with a behavioral item-response format.

ACCI SCORES: WHAT DO THEY MEAN?

The ACCI assesses planning attitudes, an important dimension of career adaptability in adulthood (Super & Kidd, 1979). Because the ACCI measures attitudes (i.e., developmental task concerns) rather than behaviors (i.e., developmental task involvement), it limits a counselor's ability to ascertain the meaning of ACCI scores. That is, in assessing merely level of concern with career tasks, the ACCI does not identify explicit reasons for the indicated level of concern. …

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