Multicultural and International Research in Four Career Development Journals: An 11-Year Content Analysis

By Garriott, Patton O.; Faris, Eve et al. | Career Development Quarterly, December 2017 | Go to article overview

Multicultural and International Research in Four Career Development Journals: An 11-Year Content Analysis


Garriott, Patton O., Faris, Eve, Frazier, Julian, Nisle, Stephanie, Galluzzo, Joseph, Career Development Quarterly


Over the past decade, career development and vocational psychology scholars have championed a return to their roots in the social justice, advocacy, and attention to marginalized groups initiated by Frank Parsons at the turn of the 20th century (Blustein, 2006; Stebleton & Eggerth, 2012). Reviews of career development and vocational psychology journals during this period have suggested an upward trend in the publication of culturally informed research in terms of race (Flores et al., 2006), international samples (Nilsson et al., 2007), and other areas of diversity (Whiston, Rose, Peterson, & Nguyen, 2013). However, the overall representation of multicultural research in vocational journals has been characterized as relatively small, ranging from 2.4% to 14.7% of the total articles published in these outlets (Flores et al., 2006; Whiston et al., 2013).

Paradigm shifts within career development and vocational psychology, including relatively recent attention to the psychology of working and work volition (Blustein, 2006, 2014; Duffy, Blustein, Diemer, & Autin, 2016), have inspired research with marginalized groups and a renewed focus on equity and justice. However, since the publication of several seminal contributions (e.g., Blustein, 2006), the growth in this research over time has not been systematically examined. Comprehensive reviews of multicultural content in related journals, such as the Journal of Counseling Psychology (JCP), have revealed greater attention to some multicultural identity domains and neglect of others. Specifically, a review of multicultural content in JCP showed increasing attention to gender but minimal attention to sexual orientation, disability, religion, and social class from 1954 to 2009 (D. L. Lee, Rosen, & Burns, 2013). Identification of multicultural identity groups that have received insufficient attention in the literature is important, as this neglect could lead to ineffective career counseling practices.

Within career development and vocational psychology, several previous content analyses have synthesized research related to multiculturalism and diverse populations. The most recent content analysis focused on multicultural content in career development and vocational psychology journals with regard to racial/ethnic minorities (REMs; Flores et al., 2006). Results indicated a total of 281 studies conducted with REM samples published between 1969 and 2004 in four major journals: The Career Development Quarterly (CDQ), the Journal of Career Assessment (JCA), the Journal of Career Development (JCD), and the Journal of Vocational Behavior (JVB). Across the 4,181 articles published within these journals, REM studies comprised 6.7%. Over the last 14-year span of the content analysis (1990-2004), REM vocational articles were published much more frequently than in the 1970s and 1980s. Overall, 66.2% of the articles were empirical, and only 21.4% were conceptual or theoretical. In a follow-up study, B. H. Lee et al. (2017) found that from 2005 to 2015 the percentage of articles based on REM samples in JVB, CDQ, JCD, and JCA increased to 8.8%, but the total number of articles steadily declined across the 11-year period. The majority of articles located for the analysis featured quantitative research designs, and few reported or featured intersecting identities such as sexual orientation (B. H. Lee et al., 2017).

Nilsson et al. (2007) focused on international career articles published over 34 years in CDQ, JCA, JCD, and JVB. Of all the international career articles identified in that study, JVB published the most (63.8%), followed by CDQ (20.5%), JCD (11.7%), and JCA (4%). Overall, the authors found an increasing number of international articles published over time. In terms of content themes, the most common topic of focus was "career issues related to a specific culture, country, or population" (p. 608). The authors also identified topic areas receiving little attention, including problems at work, salary and compensation, and leisure (Nilsson et al. …

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