Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

USING the SELF-DIRECTED SEARCH in PRACTICE

Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

USING the SELF-DIRECTED SEARCH in PRACTICE

Article excerpt

The Self-Directed Search (SDS) was initially developed by John Holland around 1970 (Reardon & Lenz, 1998) in an effort to create a more accessible and self-scorable interest inventory. The SDS is grounded in Holland's (1997) RIASEC theory. RIASEC theory holds four main assumptions. These assumptions include the idea that most people can be categorized as one of six personality or interest types and most work environments can also be categorized by these six types. Individuals develop into these personality types through the influence of various factors, such as heredity and parental influence (Holland, 1997; Miller, Wells, Springer, & Cowger, 2003). Additionally, reinforcement of activities leads to the honing of skills and competencies that increase interests and development of personality types (Holland, 1997). The assumptions also hold that people look for environments that allow them to exercise their preferences and skills. Reinforcement through activities leads to the development of self-concept and personality, which can help individuals understand environments that best match their personalities. Additionally, behavior may be affected by the person and environment interaction.

The SDS aids clients in determining which of the RIASEC types they most resemble and provides resources by which they can search for an occupation with a similar RIASEC make-up. RIASEC is an acronym for Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Holland placed the RIASEC types around a hexagon to represent the relationship among the types. This hexagon, including a short description of each type can be found in Figure 1 [see Appendix]. We assumed most readers are familiar with the RIASEC types but a more detailed discussion of these types can be found in a variety of sources (e.g., Holland, 1997; Reardon & Lenz, 1998) for those looking to learn more.

The SDS was recently updated and is now in its 5th edition (Holland & Messer, 2013). The 5th edition is based on a new norm group, appropriate for clients ages 11 to 70, and linked to updated occupational information including the 0*NET online database (http://www.onetonline. org/) (www.parinc.com). The inventory begins with the Occupational Daydreams section which requests test takers to list the occupations they have thought or dreamed about. The SDS includes 264 items that appear across four subscales. A unique aspect of the SDS is it measurement of self-assessed interest and skill. The activities and occupations subscales assess a client's interest in pursuits related to all RIASEC areas. The competencies and self-estimates subscales ask clients to consider their skills as compared to their peers across all RIASEC areas. The paperand-pencil test version is in booklet style and allows space for the client to complete their own scoring, which allows for transparency of results. Separate booklets that present the Holland codes for occupations and educational options are also available. The SDS can also be taken and scored online, which allows for access to a lengthy interpretive report. The SDS results most simply yield a three-letter Holland code (e.g., RIA) that represents the Holland types the client most closely resembles. This Holland code or Summary Score is based on the results from the four subscales. A variety of Diagnostic Signs or Secondary Constructs can also be counselor or computer calculated to provide some nuance to the results. A variety of these Secondary Constructs will be presented in the case study below.

The SDS is associated with well-regarded psychometric qualities. Internal consistency reliability is above .70 across all subscales with some lower exceptions for the self estimates subscales. Additionally, test-retest reliability was assessed using a sample of 49 individuals between 12 and 69 years of age, resulting in correlations ranging from .87 to .96 after a 2-4 month delay (Holland & Messer, 2013). Convergent validity results are available across a variety of measures. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.