The Development and Initial Psychometric Evaluation of the Korean Career Stress Inventory for College Students

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study was to develop a Korean College Stress Inventory (KCSI), which is designed to measure Korean college students' experiences and symptoms of career stress. Even though there have been numerous scales related to career issues, few scales measure the career stress construct and its dimensions. Factor structure, internal consistency, and concurrent validity of the KCSI scores are described. Results indicated that the internal consistency reliabilities of 4 KCSI subscale scores were reasonably high. In addition, the exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the modified 4-factor solution seemed to provide a reasonably good fit to the data. Implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Frequently, students experience a lot of stress during their college years, including stress related to academic issues (Crespi & Becker, 1999; Prillerman, Myers, & Smedley, 1989), financial concerns (Frazier & Schauben, 1994), and social stressors (D'Aurora & Fimian, 1988; Prillerman et al., 1989). Historically, the majority of Koreans have received significant benefits from the expansion of educational opportunities (Hong, 2008). Even though Korea has experienced a rapid expansion of higher education, the college entrance exam is still very competitive. During the college years, Korean students make great effort to increase their employability to get a job after graduation. However, for several reasons, including the economic crisis in recent years, the level of unemployment for young people has dramatically increased (Kim, 2003; Park, Bae, & Jung, 2002). As a result, Korean college students suffer from excessive stress (Han, 2005; M. Lee & Larson, 2000; Yang, Kim, Patel, & Lee, 2005).

Jang (2000) identified the stressors of Korean college students, such as schoolwork-related stressors, relationship-related stressors, extracurricularrelated stressors, family-related stressors, and career-related stressors. Among these stressors, Jang reported that Korean college students frequently reported career- related issues as the most stressful. Other researchers (Choi, 1986; Kim, 2003) have also found that career stress was ranked the highest among various types of stressors examined in samples of Korean college students. Seth (2002) also reported that Korean college students were concerned about securing high grade point averages to increase their chances for future employment in the job market.

After Selye (1956) introduced the concept of stress in such areas as medical science and physiology, Lazarus (1966) extended stress research from the physiological to the cognitive domain. In particular, Lazarus emphasized that many stressors do not provoke stress unless they are first perceived as a stressor by individuals. This cognitive-phenomenological approach to stress has achieved widespread use in the social and organizational sciences. To measure stress in the cognitive-phenomenological model, Stanton, Balzer, Smith, Parra, and Ironson (200 1 ) divided the methods for assessing stress into three general approaches: stress as stimulation, stress as reaction, and stress as interaction between stimulation and reaction. The first approach, stress as stimulation, is concerned with stressors external to the individual, such as academic stressors, career stressors, and interpersonal relationship stressors. To measure these stressors, researchers often use checklists that attempt to catalog the existence of various stressors. However, no list of stressors can ever provide a comprehensive set of stress sources that will be relevant for all persons and situations (Stanton et al., 2001). A second approach to the measurement of stress addresses responses to stress, including physiological responses and the symptomatology of stress (i.e., strains). Some strains (i.e., stress as reaction) are manifested primarily in the psychological domains (e. …

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