Work Volition in United States Veterans

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Work Volition in United States Veterans
Jadidian, Alex
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[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
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Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
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University of Florida
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Counseling Psychology
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Conscientiousness ( jstor )
Labor ( jstor )
Locus of control ( jstor )
Modeling ( jstor )
Personality psychology ( jstor )
Post traumatic stress disorder ( jstor )
Psychological counseling ( jstor )
Psychology ( jstor )
Symptomatology ( jstor )
Volition ( jstor )
Psychology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
ptsd -- veterans -- volition -- work
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theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
Counseling Psychology thesis, Ph.D.


The present study examined the relations of conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptoms to work volition using a diverse sample of 213 United States veterans. This study also tested a model where conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptoms predicted work volition through a mediating variable locus of control. The study found that neuroticism, conscientiousness, and PTSD symptoms were all related to work volition in the expected directions. The model tested was a good fit for the data. Group differences were found in employment status, race, marital status, education, income and combat experience, and an alternative model controlling for these variables was run. This model showed better fit than the initial model, and as a result, bootstrapping analyses were run on this alternative model to test for mediation. Bootstrapping analyses showed that locus of control mediated the relations between conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptoms to work volition. Implications for practice and future research are discussed. ( en )
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2014.
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2 © 2014 Alex Jadidian


3 To my lovely wife


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS There are many people who deserve recognition for their help in this project. First, I would like to thank my committee chair, Ryan Duffy, who has contributed greatly to my personal and professional growth. Without his help and guidance this dissertation would not have been possible. Second, I would like to thank my wife, family, and fri ends for their continued support in this journey. Thirdly, I would like to t hank all of the United States veterans for their service to our country . I cannot overstate my gratit ude to the people who take great risk in protecting and defending this countr y . I would especially like to thank the veterans who took time out of their busy lives to participate in this study. Finally, I would like to thank the members of my committee, Dr. Martin Heesacker, Dr. John Chambers, and Dr. Constance Shehan for offering their time, insight, and support on this project.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 10 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ................................ ................................ ............ 12 Theore tical Background ................................ ................................ .......................... 12 Work Volition ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 15 Potential Predictors of Work Volition ................................ ................................ ....... 17 PTSD Symptomatology ................................ ................................ .................... 17 Neuroticism ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 18 Conscientiousness ................................ ................................ ........................... 19 Locus of Control as a Mediator ................................ ................................ ............... 20 The Present Study ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 22 3 METHODS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 24 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 24 Instruments ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 24 Demographic Questionnaire ................................ ................................ ............. 24 Work Volition Scale ................................ ................................ .......................... 25 Locus of Control ................................ ................................ ............................... 25 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptom s ................................ ...................... 26 Personality ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 26 Procedure ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 27 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 29 Preliminary Analyses ................................ ................................ .............................. 29 Measurement Model ................................ ................................ ............................... 30 Structural Model ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 32 Indirect Effects ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 33 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 35 Practical Implications ................................ ................................ .............................. 36


6 Limitations and Future Directions ................................ ................................ ........... 37 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 38 APPENDIX A DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE ................................ ................................ ...... 39 B PERCEIVED CONTROL ................................ ................................ ......................... 41 C WORK VOLIT ION SCALE ................................ ................................ ...................... 42 D PTSD CHEKLIST ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 43 E MINI MARKER PERSONALITY SCALE ................................ ................................ . 44 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 48 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 54


7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Descriptive Statistics and Bivariate Correlations ................................ ................ 45


8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Hypothesized M odel ................................ ................................ ........................... 46 4 1 Parameter Estimates ................................ ................................ .......................... 47


9 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy WORK VOLITION IN UNITED STATES VETERANS By Alex Jadidian August 201 4 Chair: Ryan Duffy Major: Counseling Psychology The present study examined the relations of conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptoms to work volition using a diverse sample of 213 United States veterans . This study also tested a model where conscientiousness, neur oticism, and PTSD symptoms predicted work volition through a mediating variable locus of control. The study found that n euroticism, conscientiousness, and PTSD symptoms were all relate d to work volition in the expected directions. The model tes ted was a good fit for the data. Group differences were found in employment status, race, marital status, education, income and combat experience, and an altern ative model controlling for these variables was run. This model showed better fit than the initial model , and as a result, bootstrapping analyses were run on this alternative model to test for mediation . Bootstrapping analyses showed that locus of control mediated the relations between conscientiousnes s, neuroticism, and PTSD symptoms to work volition . Imp lications for practice and future research are discussed.


10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION One important process that vocational psychology has attempted to understand is how individuals make career decisions. A common criticism of traditional vocational theories that have sought to explain this process is that they assume the individual has a high degree of choice (e.g., Holland, 1997; Savickas, 2002). These theories assume that individuals are guided to careers by their interests and aspirations, and are able to freely make career decisions. Assuming an individual has free reign over their career is oversimplifying a complicated dynamic, and results in theories that do not apply to the majority of people in the working world (Blustein, Kenna, Gill, & DeVoy, 2008 ). Individuals face constraints on their choice for a number of reasons, including but not limited to, childcare issues, educational attainment, socioeconomic status, and minority status discrimination (Creed, Patton, Bartrum, 2004; Luzzo, 1996; Luzzo & McWhirter, 2001; McWhirter, 1997; Swanson & Tokar, 1991). If vocational psychologists ignore the fact that individuals are often constrained in their choice, they will ultimately be less helpful to those whom they are trying to serve, and will fail to full y understand the complexities of the career decision making process. As such, the present study seeks to more fully understand restricted choice in the working world by examining predictors occupational choices despite constraints, among a veteran population. Little research to date has been conducted examining predictors of work volition or studying volition among specific populations. Given the relatively high rates of unemployment for U. S. veterans (U.S. Department of Labor, 2012), this population may experience added constraints on their work choice and therefore is an important group


11 to study. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS; U.S. Department of Labor, 2012), in 2011 the re were 21.6 million veterans, defining veterans as individuals having served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and who were currently civilians. Recent employment numbers draw attention to the urgent need to gain a better understanding of the vocat ional development process of veterans. The BLS reports that 29.1% of male veterans age 18 24 were unemployed, compared to 13.4% of their non veteran counterparts. Male veterans aged 25 34 also had a higher rate of unemployment when compared to non vetera ns, 13.4 and 9.5 percent respectively. Not surprisingly, veterans who are employed also report higher levels of psychological well being (e.g., Horner et al., 2010). Using the Psychology of Working Framework (PWF; Blustein, 2006; Blustein, et al, 2008) as a foundation, the current study looks at potential predictors of work volition in a veteran population. Taking into account findings from the vocational psychology literature and literature specific to the veteran population, the current study will exa mine the degree to which neuroticism, conscientiousness, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms predict work volition. In addition to examining potential predictors of work volition, this study will explore the mediating effect of locus of con trol on the relations of these three predictors to work volition. In the following section I begin by reviewing the PWF as a theoretical basis for the present study and then review relevant literature concerning work volition, PTSD symptomatology, conscien tiousness, neuroticism, and locus of control.


12 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Theoretical Background Understanding the complicated dynamics surrounding how individuals navigate career decision making has been a goal of vocational psychologists for some time. Early vocational psychology literature focused on helping individuals choose careers that fit wel l with their interests, values, and/or abilities (e.g., Dawis, 1996; Holland, 1997). Theories such as these are helpful in understanding how individuals with a high degree of choice make career decisions, however they lack the theoretical range to encompa ss individuals who do not have the same degree of choice. One point of view that has been advanced in an attempt to include those with less choice is the Psychology of Working Framework (PWF). Blustein (2006) introduced the PWF in response to a need fo r a perspective on working that encompasses the work lives of those individuals who have traditionally been ignored. In a book detailing the framework, Blustein notes the PWF is grounded in psychology research, and supported by research in sociology, anth ropology, and economics. In addition to a perspective of working that is broader than some previous (Blustein, 2006, pg. XV) to the table. The PWF recognizes that the disti nction between work and non non work lives. It is to this end that issues related to work are so important, and why the history of neglecting issues of work in counseling (Spengler, Blustein, & Strohmer, 1990) is so detrimental.


13 The PWF incorporates a concept that Abraham Maslow (1943) introduced in relation to the theory of human motivation. of a pyramid, which visually demonstrates a hierarchy of needs; the more basic bottom needs must be in place to pursue the more advanced needs higher up on the pyramid. l beginning with physiological needs, followed by safety needs, love/belonging needs, esteem needs, and finally self actualization needs. The structure of the pyramid (higher levels of the structure depend on the foundation below) is indicative of the hie rarchical nature of this theory. In physiological needs (e.g., if they lack food). In other words, meeting basic needs is a prerequisite for higher order needs. An u is important in understanding the PWF because Blustein (2006) used this concept in his view of working. He posited that much of the vocational psychology literature focuses on individuals who are in a position t o try to meet their needs on the top of the pyramid (e.g., self actualization), as opposed to the more basic needs. Blustein (2006) argued that because there is a tendency for vocational theories to focus on higher level needs, those who are working as a means of satisfying more basic needs located at the bottom of the pyramid (e.g., shelter) go unrecognized. This point is supported by one of the long standing criticisms of vocational psychology research, which is that too often samples are drawn from mid dle class populations who are relatively well off, and have high levels of volition in their lives. individuals can fulfill three sets of human needs by working: survival and power, soc ial


14 connection, and self determination. The first of these needs, survival and power, is water, clothing, safety, and shelter. According to the PWF, survival needs and po wer needs go hand and hand. Working provides material resources in the form of money, and social resources in the form of status which both relate to power. The PWF states that only after these needs are met can an individual pursue higher order needs. The second set of human needs that working can fulfill is social connection. Humans feel a strong need for social connection, and interpersonal relationships. The PWF states that work can, and often does, provide a venue for connecting with other people . The relationships forged while working not only help an individual in their general psychological well being (Quick & Tetrick, 2003). The third set of human needs that an individual may fulfill through work is that of self determination. It is acknowledged that most individuals (specifically those with low choice) do not have the ability to engage in work that is intrinsically meaningful, or is a viable form of self concep t. However, for those with a high degree of choice it is determination. As stated above, it is on this highest order need that much of the vocational research of the past has focused on. One important concept in the P WF is work volition. The PWF was intended to fill a need to understand people who do not have much, if any, volition in their work lives. experienced within the work Duffy, Diemer, Perry, Laurenzini, and Torrey (2012) recognized that choice in the


15 domain of work, or work volition, was an important construct in the PWF and needed to be studied. Duffy and colle agues precisely defined work volition as the perceived capacity to make occupational choices despite constraints, and created a measure to assess it. One of the main issues the PWF posits is that work volition exists as a continuum, and people vary widely in their sense of work volition. activities humans engage in are not driven by intrinsic motivation. As a result of this, individuals are often forced (with little or no choice) to do jobs for extrinsically motivating factors. Blustein (2006) suggested that the notion of work volition needs to be explored in more depth, and hypothesized that higher volition (more choice) is a good thing, but cautions that this view may be culturally en capsulated. The present study recognizes the importance of work volition in the PWF, and aims to add to the very limited existing literature on the construct. The present study tests conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptoms as predictors of work volition, specifically hypothesizing that these will relate to work volition via general locus of control. In the following section research on work volition, conscientiousness, neuroticism, PTSD symptomatology, and locus of control will be reviewed. Wor k Volition The PWF is intended to broaden the scope of previous theories to encompass the working lives of those who do not have much, if any, volition. Although work volition is a relatively new construct, a few studies to date have examined the construc t. While Blustein (2006) referred to work volition in the PWF, there had never been a specific measure to assess the construct. Duffy, Diemer, Perry, et al. (2012) sought to remedy this problem by creating the Work Volition Scale (WVS) to facilitate the


16 empirical study of this construct. With diverse samples of adults, the WVS was found to have a three factor structure with subscales assessing general volition, financial constraints, and structural constraints, and evidenced strong internal consistency. Scores from the total scale were found to correlate in the expected directions with core self evaluations, work locus of control, and the personality traits of agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. Furthermore, the authors found that work vo lition did not correlate with work locus of control or core self evaluations to the point that would suggest they were measuring the same variable. Moreover, they found that WVS was negatively correlated with career barriers, and positively correlated wit h career of the world). Duffy, Diemer, and Jadidian (2012) developed a similar measure of work volition for use with college populations. The Work Volition Scale Stu dent Version (WVS SV) was developed with a diverse sample of college students and has two subscales: volition and constraints. The WVS SV correlated in the expected directions with career barriers, career locus of control, core self evaluations, career de cision self efficacy, and the Big 5 personality traits. This study also found the two week test retest reliability of the WVS SV to be .73, suggesting that scores were relatively stable over a short period of time. A study by Jadidian and Duffy (2012) examined the construct of work volition with a sample of college students. It was found that work volition correlated moderately in the expected directions with academic satisfaction, and strongly correlated with career decision self efficacy. Adding sup port to the notion that higher levels of work volition


17 are related to certain vocational outcomes, Duffy, Bott, Torrey, & Webster (2013) found work volition to be positively correlated with positive affect, core self evaluations, and job satisfaction for e mployed adults. Additionally, in a sample of unemployed adults, Duffy, Bott, Allan, and Torrey (2013) found that work volition was positively related to life satisfaction, optimism, job search self efficacy, and job search support. The research reviewed a bove shines some light on the construct of work volition, but still leaves many questions. One important area of inquiry concerning work volition lies in examining the predictors of the construct. An understanding of the predictors of work volition will help researchers and clinicians better know how perceptions of choice operate in the vocational realm. The following section will review literature on constructs that have the potential to predict work volition in an attempt to build a case for each constr uct as a potential predictor of work volition. Potential Predictors of Work Volition PTSD Symptomatology Veterans are often exposed to events while on active duty that are traumatic. As a result of being exposed to trauma, a certain percentage of vetera ns will go on to develop PTSD. PTSD can have negative effects on various life domains, one of which is employment status (Magruder, et al. 2004). One survey of Vietnam era veterans found that those who had combat related PTSD were significantly less like ly to be employed than those who did not have a PTSD diagnosis (Savoca & Rosenheck, 2000). Furthermore, Savoca and Rosenheck found that among those in the workforce, those with a PTSD diagnosis tend to earn less than those without a PTSD diagnosis. Withi n samples of veterans diagnosed with PTSD, the severity of PTSD is related to employment, with more severe cases being associated with lower levels of employment


18 (Magruder, et al. 2004; Smith, Schnurr & Rosenheck, 2005). It has also been shown that vetera ns with a PTSD diagnosis benefit less from vocational rehabilitation programs than veterans without PTSD. Resnick and Rosenheck (2008) found that after controlling for other factors, of the veterans completing a vocational rehabilitation program, those wi th a PTSD diagnosis were 19 percent less likely to be employed than those without PTSD. Given these finding on PTSD and employment status, it is hypothesized that PTSD symptomatology will be related to work volition, such that increased PTSD symptomatolog y will be associated with decreased work volition. It is vocational realm. These symptoms will therefore translate into a restriction of choice, and thus a decrease in work volition. Neuroticism Neuroticism describes a component of personality associated with nervousness, anxiety, fear, and insecurity. Conversely, the absence of neuroticism is associated with emotional stability, calmness, and optimism (Taylor & Klu emper, 2012). There have been two studies that have looked at neuroticism as it relates to work volition. The first of these studies used a sample of college students and found that increased neuroticism was related to lower work volition (Duffy, Diemer, & Jadidian, 2012). The second study, using a sample of adults, also found an inverse relation between neuroticism and work volition (Duffy, Diemer, Perry, et al., 2012). Although research on neuroticism and work volition is sparse, studies have examined how neuroticism relates to similar vocational outcomes. For example, higher levels of neuroticism have been linked to increases in job stress (Al Mashaan, 2001), higher reactivity to stressful events (Bolger & Zuckerman,


19 1995), more negative work related attitudes (Judge, Heller, & Mount, 2002), lower levels of job engagement (Inceoglu & Warr, 2011), negative career thoughts and feelings (Kelly & Shin, 2009), lower career decision making self efficacy (Bullock Yowell, Andrews, Buzzetta, 2011), and decrease d work attendance (Stormer & Fahr, 2013). Neuroticism has also been shown to be negatively related to job search self efficacy and job satisfaction, and positively related to work burnout and perceived financial inadequacy (Judge et al., 2002; Zimmerman, B oswell, Shipp, Dunford, & Boudreau, 2012). In sum, two studies have found that neuroticism is inversely related to work volition. Additionally, the research on related constructs has shown that neuroticism is related to a variety of vocational variables. For these reasons it is believed that neuroticism will function as a predictor of work volition. It is hypothesized that neuroticism is inversely related to work volition, such that higher levels of neuroticism will predict lower levels of work volition . Conscientiousness The personality trait of conscientiousness describes someone who is disciplined, dutiful, and dependable (Taylor & Kluemper, 2012). Conscientiousness has been studied in the work domain for some time and has been found to relate to a variety of career related constructs. The two studies that have examined conscientiousness and work volition have found a positive relation between the two constructs in samples of undergraduates as well as adults (Duffy, Diemer, & Jadidian, 2012; Duffy, Diemer, Perry, et al., 2012). Although the research on conscientiousness and work volition is sparse, studies have looked at related constructs. Research has shown that conscientiousness is positively related to job/career satisfaction, and career decision making self efficacy


20 (Bullock Yowell et al., 2011; Judge, Heller, & Mount, 2002; Lounsbury et al., 2012; Lounsbury, Park, Sundstrom, Williamson, & Pemberton, 2004), and inversely related to perceived career barriers (Hirschi & Herrmann, 2013). In sum, there have been two studies linki ng conscientiousness to work volition, and other research has shown that conscientiousness is related to various vocational variables. Veterans who are more conscientious are believed to feel greater control in their career decision making abilities. The refore, it is hypothesized that increases in conscientiousness will predict higher levels of work volition. Conscientiousness and neuroticism were chosen from the big five personality traits because of prior research showing that these two personality tra its correlated with work locus of control at relatively high rates compared to the other personality traits (Duffy, Diemer, & Jadidian, 2012; Duffy, Diemer, Perry, et al., 2012). Additionally, it was hypothesized that traits relating to discipline, dutifu lness and dependability, as well as anxiety, fear, and insecurity would play an integral role in the feeling of control. Furthermore, the importance of these two specific personality traits in the vocational realm was shown in a meta analysis, which found neuroticism and conscientiousness to have the strongest correlations of the big five personality traits with job satisfaction (Judge, Heller, & Mount, 2002). Locus of Control as a Mediator Feelings of control have been examined extensively in the literat ure, and constructs have been developed to assess this on either a general basis (e.g., locus of control) or in a domain specific context such as work volition. It has been shown that general predictors have stronger relations to general measures of contr ol, and that domain specific predictors have stronger relations to their respective domain specific


21 measure of control (Lau & Ware, 1981; Wang, Bowling, Eschleman, 2010). For this reason it is predicted that a general measure of locus of control will act as the mediator between the more general predictors (PTSD symptoms, neuroticism, conscientiousness), and the domain specific measure of control/choice (work volition). In the following section locus of control will be reviewed first in relation to work vo lition, secondly to constructs related to work volition, and finally to the three predictor variables (conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptomatology). Locus of control is defined as a generalized expectancy that outcomes are controlled by oneself (internal) or by other forces (external; Spector, 1988). Previous research has found an association between work volition and work locus of control, specifically internal work locus of control relating to greater work volition (Duffy, Diemer, & Jadidian, 2012; Duffy, Diemer, Perry, et al. 2012; Jadidian & Duffy, 2012). Research has shown that an internal locus of control is related to other vocational variables. For example, a more internal locus of control has been found to relate positively to career decision self efficacy (Lease, 2004; Taylor & Popma, 1990) and higher career adaptability (Duffy, 2010; Ng & Feldman, 2009). Furthermore, meta analyses of locus of control in the workplace has shown an internal locus of control to be positively related to positive task experience, positive social experience, job motivation, job satisfaction, job performance, and negatively related to work burnout and work stressors (Judge & Bono, 2001; Ng, Sorensen, & Eby, 2006; Wang et al., 2010). This research supports the notion that a more internal locus of control is related to a variety of vocational outcomes.


22 Locus of control has also been linked to the three predictor variables (conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptomatology) in this study. For example, neuroticism has been shown to relate inversely to internal locus of control (Judge et al., 2002; Morrison, 1997). Zimmerman (2008) did not directly assess perceived control, however using meta analytic techniques he showed that neuroticism is related to withdrawal cognitions and behaviors, which suggest a negative relation to control. Conscientiousness has also been linked to locus of control, with findings supporting the notion that increased conscientiousness is related to a more internal locus of cont symptoms have been linked to a more external locus of control (Ahmed, 2007; Bisson, 2007). In sum, the findings above suggest that an internal locus of control is related to increa sed work volition and a variety of work related constructs. Furthermore, the locus of control. Based on these findings, and the fact that the predictor variables are gene ral in nature and the outcome variable is domain specific, it is believed that locus of control (a general measure of control) will function as a full mediator between the general predictor variables and the domain specific construct of work volition. The Present Study In the present study, three predictors of work volition were examined using a sample of United States Veterans. To date few studies have examined predictors of work volition, and none have explored this construct using a sample of veterans. Based on previous research (Duffy, Diemer, & Jadidian, 2012; Duffy, Diemer, Perry, et al., 2012; Savoca & Rosenheck, 2000), it is hypothesized that 1) neuroticism will be


23 negatively related to work volition, 2) conscientiousness will be positively relate d to work volition, and 3) PTSD symptoms will be negatively related to work volition. Additionally, based on theory and findings linking the predictor variables to locus of control (Ahmed, 2007; Bisson, 2007; Hattrup et al., 2005; Judge et al., 2002; Morri son, 1997) and locus of control to work volition (Duffy, Diemer, & Jadidian, 2012; Duffy, Diemer, Perry, et al. 2012; Jadidian & Duffy, 2012), it is hypothesized that 4) locus of control will fully mediate the relations of neuroticism, conscientiousness, a nd PTSD symptoms to work volition. These hypotheses will be tested using a structural equation model in which conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptoms are hypothesized to predict work volition via locus of control (Figure 2 1). First, in order t o confirm that there was a good factor structure of the parcels used to construct each of the variables in our model, a confirmatory factor analysis was run. Secondly, the structural model was tested and fit statistics were examined. Finally, the strengt h of the indirect effects of conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptoms on work volition via locus of control were tested by bootstrapping methods.


24 CHAPTER 3 METHODS Participants There were a total of 213 participants in the present study. Of those who responded to the question assessing gender 70.5% were male, and 29.5% were female. The mean age of the sample was 37.87 years, and was positively skewed with a median age of 33.00 years. Of this group 42.7% (n = 91) served in the Army, 20.7% (n = 44) Air Force, 17.4% (n = 37) Navy, 12.2% (n = 26) Marine Corps, 4.7% (n = 10) National Guard, 1.4% (n = 3) multiple branches, and .9% (n = 2) Coast Guard. Additionally, 68.5% (n = 146) i dentified as White, 11.3% (n = 24) as African American, 6.6% (n = 14) as multiracial, 3.3% (n = 7) as Asian American, 2.3% (n = 5) as American Indian, 2.3% (n = 5) as Mexican, 1.9% (n = 4) as Puerto Rican, 1.4% (n = 3) as other, 1.4% (n = 3) as Central Ame rican, 0.5% (n = 1) as Pacific Islander, and 0.5% (n = 1) as Middle Eastern. Participants were diverse in terms of their employment status (58.7% fully employed), combat experience (47.4% with combat experience), marital status (52.1% married), education level (16.9% high school with no college, 43.2% some 25k 50k, 24.9% 51k 75k, 14.1% 76k 100k, 6.1% 101k 150k, 1.4% 176k or more). Instruments Demographic Questionnaire The Demo graphic questionnaire collected information including age, gender, education level, race/ethnicity, marital status, and veteran status.


25 Work Volition Scale The 13 item Work Volition Scale (WVS; Duffy, Diemer, Perry, et al., 2012) was used to assess work v occupational choices despite constraints. The WVS consists of three subscales: volition, financial constraints, and structural constraints. Participants were asked to indicate their level o f agreement on items using a 7 point Likert scale ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 7 = Strongly Agree demonstrate d criterion validity with correlations in the expected directions with core self evaluations, work locus of control, and the personality traits of agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. Furthermore, Duffy et al. found the internal consistency estimates of the total scale (.86), volition (.78), financial constraints (.81), and structural constraints (.70) subscales to be adequate. In the present study the estimated internal consistency of the total scale (.93), volition (.90), financial constra ints (.85), and structural constraints (.88) scores were good. Locus of Control To measure locus of control the Sense of Control Scale (Lachman & Weaver, 1998) was used. This measure is composed of two subscales Perceived Constraints (8 items) and Perso nal Mastery (4 items). Examples from each of the two subscales are Constraints). Participan ts were asked to respond to items on a 7 point Likert scale ranging from 1= Strongly disagree to 7= Strongly Agree . Items on the perceived constraints subscale were reverse coded so that higher scores represented a more


26 internal locus of control. Lachman and Weaver found both subscales to correlate in the expected directions with life satisfaction, depressive symptoms, and health. They found the internal consistency reliability to be .70, .86, and .85 for the Personal Mastery, Perceived Constraints, and P erceived Control (combined scales) respectively. In the present study the estimated internal consistency reliability of the total scale scores was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms were assessed using the PTSD Checklist (PCL; Weathers, Litz, Huska, & Keane, 1994). The PCL is a 17 item self report measure that parallels the diagnostic criteria for PTSD listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV ( DSM IV ; American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Participants were asked to endorse levels of distress associated with various PTSD symptoms in the last month on a 5 point Likert scale ranging from 1 = Not At All to 5 = Extremely PCL, Ruggiero, Del Ben, Scotti, and Rabalais (2003) found the PCL to correlate highly (r >.75) with well established measures of PTSD, and had an estimated inte rnal Personality To measure the personality constructs of conscientiousness and neuroticism Marker scale was used. For the present study only the 16 items corresponding to the conscientiousness and neuroticism subscales were included. This measure presents one word adjectives that participants rate on a 9 point Likert scale


27 ranging from 1 = extremely inaccurate to 9 = extremely accurate . Examples of items on adult populations has found the internal consistency reliabilities to be .82 and .83 for conscientiousness an d neuroticism respectively (Duffy, Diemer, Perry, et al., 2012). In the present study only 7 of the 8 neuroticism items were used to compute the total score scale scores in the present study for conscientiousness and neuroticism was .90 and .87, respectfully. Procedure After approval was gained from the University of Florida Internal Review Board, participants were recruited using Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). MTurk is an online system operated by that allows individuals to receive compensation for completing Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs). Previous research has shown that MTurk allows researchers to gain access to larger, more diverse samples efficientl y (Buhrmester, Kwang, & Gosling, 2011). An online HIT was created on MTurk with the that participants must be United States veterans in order to qualify to participate. Participants who completed the task received $1.00 as compensation. The HIT required the participants to click on a link to where they completed the survey. At the end of the survey they were provided with a numerical code to enter into M Turk to receive compensation. The survey began with an informed consent. If participants agreed to participate in the study they proceeded to the demographic questionnaire. This was followed by the WVS, PCL, Sense of Control Scale, and Mini Markers pre sented in a counterbalanced fashion. Upon completion of the measures a


28 final debrief screen thanked the participants for completing the survey and provided them with resources to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, as well as the Veterans Crisis Lin e. There were 300 surveys initiated. Of those initiated, 32 response sets that were dropped because they were incomplete. Another 41 response sets were dropped because the participant missed one or more of the three validly questions placed throughout t he testing instruments leaving a total of 213 participants.


29 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Preliminary Analyses Prior to conducting the formal analysis, several preliminary analyses were completed. First, the normality of each of the variables was assessed. All va riables had skewness and kurtosis coefficients under one. An inspection of the histograms, P P plots, and Q Q plots confirmed that the variables did not violate any of the normality assumptions. Next, the correlations among the variables in the model wer e examined. As seen in Table 4 1, the correlations between the variables were all significant and in the expected directions. Work volition was strongly correlated with locus of control, moderately correlated with PTSD symptomatology and neuroticism, and weakly correlated with conscientiousness. Locus of control had a strong negative correlation with PTSD symptoms and neuroticism, and a strong positive correlation with conscientiousness. Several demographic measures were examined to see if there were gr oup differences between the variables in the proposed model. T tests were computed to look at mean differences on all five variables in the model based on combat experience, race, marital status, and employment status. There was a significant difference found for PTSD symptoms between veterans with combat experience and veterans without combat experience (38.32 vs. 33.06, t = 2.72, p < .01). White veterans had significantly different scores than non white veterans on measures of locus of control (62.27 v s. 57.09, t = 2.51, p < .05), and PTSD symptoms (34.23 vs. 38.45, t = 2.02, p < .05). Married veterans differed significantly from non married veterans in locus of control (62.63 vs. 58.47, t = 2.16, p < .05), PTSD symptoms (33.17 vs. 38.15, t = 2.58, p <


30 .05), and work volition (56.90 vs 51.69, t = 2.10, p < .05). Veterans that were employed full time were significantly different than those who did not have full time employment (excluding retirees) in locus of control (63.23 vs. 56.95, t = 3.26, p < . 01), and work volition (58.31 vs. 48.85, t = 3.85, p < .01). It was also found that income was positively correlated with locus of control (r = .28, p < .01) and work volition (r = .40, p < .01), and negatively correlated with neuroticism (r = .15, p < . 05). Furthermore, education was positively correlated with work volition (r = .14, p < .05), locus of control (r = .20, p < .05) and conscientiousness (r = .19, p < .05), and negatively correlated with neuroticism (r = .13, p < .05). Measurement Model B efore running the structural equation model, the observed indicators on the appropriate latent constructs were determined with a confirmatory factor analysis. For each of the variables in the model item parcels were created. For the work volition scale t he three parcels were created using the three WV S subscales (volition, financial constraints, and structural constraints). The first of the three parcels for locus of control was the personal mastery subscale, while dividing the items of the perceived co nstraints subscales created the other two parcels. To obtain item parcels for PTSD symptoms, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and one subscale of the locus of control measure (perceived constraints subscale) an exploratory factor analysis was completed usi ng principle axis factoring for the items in each scale. The items were then rank ordered according to the strength of their factor loadings and were grouped to create three parcels (two for perceived constraints subscale) of similar factor loadings for e ach measure. This procedure was done for each of the variables and resulted in three observed indicators for each model variable: work volition (two, 4 item parcels and one,


31 5 item parcel), locus of control (three, 4 item parcels), conscientiousness (two, 3 item parcels and one, 2 item parcel), neuroticism (two, 2 item parcels and one, 3 item parcel), PTSD symptoms (one, 5 item parcel and two, 6 item parcels). The scores on each parcel were standardized. The estimated internal consistency reliabilities f or the .82), The measurement mo del was constructed using AMOS and was judged on the following fit indices: chi not a reliable test with s ample sizes over 200 (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2007). The CFI compares the proposed model to a model that considers all the variables to be uncorrelated. According to Hu and Bentler (1999), values greater than .95 represent good fitting models. The RMSEA eva luates the degree to which the proposed model would fit population covariance matrices if the optimal parameter estimates were available. Tabachnick and Fidell (2007) note that RMSEA values less than .06 indicate good fit, while values greater than .10 si gnify poor fit. The analysis indicated that the N = 213 = 170.07, p < .001, CFI = .96, RMSEA = .073. The Chi squared and CFI values indicated good fit, and the


32 RMSEA indicated adequate fit. All observe d indicators had factor loadings on their latent construct of at least .69. Structural Model Next the hypothesized structural model was run in two steps. An initial model was run to show the relations between the predictor variables (conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptomatology) and work volition without the mediating N = 213) = 91.91, p < .001, CFI = .97, RMSEA = .066. In this step, PTSD symptoms and neuroticism significantly predicted work volition. In t he next step t he full model (shown in Figure 4 1 ) was run. It was hypothesized that work volition would be predicted by conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptomatology. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that locus of control would fully mediate th ese relations. In order to properly test the hypotheses of full mediation, the model was run with paths from the three predictor variables to both locus of control and work volition; non significant direct paths from the three predictor variables to work v olition would partially indicate full mediation depending on the bootstrapping results. N = 213 = 170.07, p < .001, CFI = .96, RMSEA = .073. As seen in Figure 4 1 , locus of control and conscientiousness significantly predicted work volition. Additionally, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptomatology were significant predictors of locus of control . In total the predictor variables accounted for 62% of the variance in work volition. As stated ab ove, the preliminary analyses found significant group differences in variables across the model in terms of race, income, education, marital status, combat experience, and employment status. Because of these results an alternative model was constructed th at was similar to the original model, but controlled for all six of these


33 covariates. The alternative model controlling for these covariates showed better fit than N = 213) = 262.23, p < .001, CFI = .95, RMSEA = .064. This mo del, while controlling for covariates, also found that locus of control and conscientiousness significantly predicted work volition. Additionally, conscientiousness, neuroticism, PTSD symptomatology were significant predictors of locus of control . In tota l the predictor variables accounted for 62% of the variance in work volition. Because the controlling of covariates improved the overall model fit, this model was used to test the indirect effects. Indirect Effects The bootstrapping recommendations propos ed by Shrout and Bolger (2002) were followed to examine the significance of the indirect effects. To test the indirect effects, 1000 bootstrap samples were created using AMOS and the alternative model (controlling for race, income, education, marital stat us, combat experience, and employment status) was run 1000 times with each of the randomly generated samples. The mediation paths were calculated by using the standardized mean parameter estimates from these 1000 randomly generated models. This included 1) conscientiousness to work volition as mediated by locus of control, 2) neuroticism to work volition as mediated by locus of control, and 3) PTSD symptoms to work volition as mediated by locus of control. In order to calculate the mediation effects, the 1000 parameter estimates from the predictor variable to the mediator variable (e.g., conscientiousness to locus of control) were multiplied by the 1000 parameter estimates from the mediator to the dependent variable (e.g., locus of control to work volitio n). The product terms were examined, and if the 95% confidence interval for the indirect effect did not include zero, then the indirect effect was deemed significant at the p < .05 level


34 (Shrout & Bolger, 2002). Supporting our hypothesized model, all thr ee indirect effects were found to be significant: conscientiousness on work volition as mediated by locus of .21, SE = .002, 95% CI [ .35, .0 7]), and PTSD symptomatology .29, SE = .001, 95% CI [ .37, .13]).


35 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Using a diverse sample of United States veterans, the present study examined conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptomatology as potential predictors of work volition and explored whether locus of control mediated these relations. Supporting the first three hypotheses, neuroticism, conscientiousness, and PTSD symptoms each significantly correlated in the exp ected direction with work volition. Matching findings from previous studies (Duffy, Diemer, & Jadidian, 2012; Duffy, Diemer, Perry, et al., 2012; Savoca & Rosenheck, 2000), veterans who had lower PTSD symptoms, lower levels of nervousness and anxiety, and higher levels of discipline were more likely to have higher levels of work volition. It is important to note that in the present study it was the symptoms of PTSD that were measured, and not a formal diagnosis of PSTD. Therefore these results speak to ind ividuals along the entire spectrum of PTSD symptomatology, and not only those with a formal diagnosis. The structural model tested the hypotheses that these three predictor variables would relate to work volition via general locus of control. Findings supp orted this hypothesis as all three relations were fully mediated by locus of control. These findings suggest that the key reason conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptoms are locus of control. This adds to the Psychology of Working Framework literature, and suggests that locus of control. Additionally, the second model that was tested which controlled for race, income, education, combat experience, marital status, and employment status showed results similar to the initial model, but with an overall better fit.


36 Another interesting finding concerns the construct of conscientiousness. The b ivariate correlation between conscientiousness and work volition is significant and in the positive direction, however when the model was run with locus of control as a mediator, the direct effect of conscientiousness on work volition was significant and n egative. In other words, the more conscientious a person is the higher their work volition, but when the shared variance of locus of control was accounted for, higher conscientiousness predicted decreased work volition. This finding was not predicted or anticipated, but is interesting nonetheless. One explanation may be that conscientiousness is a combination of feeling more in control and being aware of potential barriers. Therefore, once the shared variance of conscientiousness and locus of control is taken out, the increased awareness of barriers remains, which is related to lower work volition. However, as stated above this result was unexpected and the effect size was small, but should be investigated further. Practical Implications One major aim o major research agenda is needed to explore how volition is experienced within the current study speak to the clinical implications for counselors working with veterans on job related presenting issues. A major finding of this study was that general locus of control fully mediated the relations between work volition and the predictor variables conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptoms. This finding suggests that it is important for clinicians to understand the critical role locus of control plays in this process. For veterans who have problems stemming from low work volition, it may be helpful for the


37 counselor to try to reorient their locus of control (e.g., cognitive reframing) to be more internal. In fact, several approaches to therapy have this, the reorientation of locus of control, as the ir stated purpose (e.g., Connolly, 1980). The present study suggests that this shifting of general locus of control inward may have a positive secondary effect of study is that those endorsing symptoms of PTSD have a more external locus of control, and lower work volition, even at sub threshold levels. This is a good reminder for clinicians that the effects of sub threshold symptoms on an individual can be very impactfu l and should not be minimized. Limitations and Future Directions The present study is an important addition to the literature on work volition, however there are several limitations that need to be addressed. One limitation concerns the data collection me thod, which was done online via MTurk. It may be that only a certain subpopulation of veterans use MTurk (e.g., younger). This is a concern for the generalizability of the present study, however demographic data collected from participants in the present study show the sample was relatively diverse in terms of age, income, education, and military branch. A second limitation concerns the generalizability of the present sample to non veteran adults. The current study focused on the veteran population, and caution should be used when generalizing this to a general adult population. The measures used in the present study were not military specific so it is reasonable to think that these processes may operate with adults in general, however research using a broader sample is needed before these results are generalized. A third limitation is that the present study cannot speak to the causality of the variables in the model. Although it makes theoretical sense that personality traits


38 and PTSD symptoms would c ome first in the model, future studies should examine these constructs longitudinally to verify assumptions about the direction of the model paths. Another necessary step moving forward is to test whether these findings translate to clinical practice. Alt hough the present study provides clinical suggestions concerning how to improve the work volition of veterans, future research is needed to examine the efficacy of such interventions. Another fertile area of research seems to be the relation of clinical s ymptoms to work volition. This study examined the relation of PTSD symptoms to work volition; it would be interesting to see how other clinical symptoms (e.g., depression, general anxiety, etc) impact work volition. This would also provide important clin ical implications if it were found that certain clinical symptoms were more detrimental to work volition than others. Conclusion The findings from this study offer an important contribution to the construct of work volition, and more generally the Psychology of Working Framework. It was shown that conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD each predict work volition via a general locus of control. For United States veterans it may be that conscientiousness, neuroticism, and PTSD symptomatology, thro ugh locus of control, play an important role in work volition.


39 APPENDIX A DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE Gender : (1) Male (2) Female What is your age ? ____________________ Select the ethnic/racial group(s) that best describes you. (You may select m ore than one choice): _1__ African, African American _8__ Asian, Asian American _2__ Caribbean (e.g. Haitian, Jamaican) _9__ Pacific Islander (e.g. Samoa, Guam) _3__ White (non Hispanic), Anglo _10__ Middle Eastern (e.g. Arab, Israeli) _4__ Puerto Ric an _11__ Cape Verdean _5__ Mexican _12__ American Indian, Eskimo _6__ Cuban _13_ South American _7__ Central American (e.g., Costa Rica) _14__ Other (please specify): ___________ Are you a United States Veteran? __ YES __NO Which Branch of the military did you serve? __Army __Navy __Marine Corps __Air force __National Guard __Coast Guard Are you a combat veteran? __ YES __NO What years were you active duty? __ YES __NO How many years have you been out of the service? __ YES __NO Marital Status: _1_ Single _2_ Married _3_ Divorced _4_ Widowed Education Level _1_ Less than a high school diploma _2_ High school diploma with no college _3_ Some college or associates degr ee _4_ Bachelors degree or higher


40 On average, what is your annual household income level? __ Less than $25,000 per year __ $25,000 $50,000 per year __ $51,000 $75,000 per year __ $76,000 $100,000 per year __ $101,000 $125,000 per year _ _ $126,000 $150,000 per year __ $151,000 $175,000 per year __ $176,000 $200,000 per year __ $200,000 + per year What is your employment status (check all that apply)? __ Work full time __ Work part time __ Retired __ Unemployed by choice __ Involuntarily unemployed __ On permanent disability


41 APPENDIX B PERCEIVED CONTROL Instructions: Please read each item carefully, indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with the statement. (1) Strongly Disagree (2) S omewhat Disagree (3) A Little Disagree (5) A Little Agree (6) Somewhat Agree (7) Strongly Agree


42 APPENDIX C WORK VOLITION SCALE Instructions: Please read each item carefully, indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with the statement 1. 2. I can do the kind of work I want, despite external barriers 3. I feel total control over my job choices 4. I feel able to change jobs if I want to 5. Due to my financial situation , I need to take any job I can find 6. 7. In order to provide for my family, I often have to take jobs I do not enjoy 8. 9. The only thing that matters in choosing a job is to make ends meet 10. I feel that outside forces have really limited my work and career options 11. The current state of the economy prevents me from working in the job I want 12. Negative factors outside my personal control had a large i mpact on my current career choice 13.


43 APPENDIX D PTSD CHEKLIST Instructions: Please read each item carefully, indicate the degree to which you have been bothered by the stated problem in the last month . (1) Not at all (2) A little bit (3) Moderately (4) Quite a bit (5) Extremely 1. Repeated, disturbing memories, thoughts, or images of a stressful experience from the past? 2. Repeated, disturbing dreams of a stressful experience from the past? 3. Suddenly acting or feeling as if a stressful experience were happening again (as if you were reliving it)? 4. Feeling very upset when something reminded you of a stressful experience from the past? 5. Having physical reactions (e.g., heart pounding, troubl e breathing, or sweating) when something reminded you of a stressful experience from the past? 6. Avoid thinking about or talking about a stressful experience from the past or avoid having feelings related to it? 7. Avoid activities or situations because t hey remind you of a stressful experience from the past? 8. Trouble remembering important parts of a stressful experience from the past? 9. Loss of interest in things that you used to enjoy? 10. Feeling distant or cut off from other people? 11. Feeling emot ionally numb or being unable to have loving feelings for those close to you? 12. Feeling as if your future will somehow be cut short? 13. Trouble falling or staying asleep? 14. Feeling irritable or having angry outbursts? 15. Having difficulty concentratin g? 17. Feeling jumpy or easily startled?


44 APPENDIX E MINI MARKER PERSONALITY SCALE Please use the list of common human traits to describe yourself as accurately as possible. Describe yourself as you see yourse lf at the present time, not as you wish to be in the future. Describe yourself as you are generally or typically, as compared with other persons you know of the same sex of roughly your same age. Before each trait, please write a number indicating how accurately that trait describes you, using the following rating scale: Inaccurate ? Accurate _____________________________ _____________________________ Extremely Very Moderately Slightly Slightly Moderately Very Extremely 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ___ Careless ___Disorganized ___Efficient ___Envious ___Fretful ___Inefficient ___Jealous ___Moody ___Organized ___Practical ___Relaxed ___Sloppy ___Systematic ___Temperamental ___Touchy ___Unenvious


45 APPENDIX F DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS AND BIVARIATE CORRELATIONS Table F 1 . Descriptive Statistics and Bivariate Correlations Variable M SD 1 2 3 4 5 1. Work Volition 54.40 18.21 2. Conscientiousness 57.08 10.71 .24 3. Neuroticism 31.22 12.17 .40 .45 4. PTSD Symptoms 35.55 14.25 .36 .24 .45 5. Locus of Control 60.64 14.16 .69 .42 .50 .50 Note: All correlations significant at the p < .05 level.


46 APPENDIX G HYPOTHESIZED MODEL PTSD Symptoms Conscientiousness Locus of Control Work Volition Neuroticism Figure G 1. Hypothesized model.


47 APPENDIX H PARAMETER ESTIMATES PTSD Symptoms .03 .35* .23* .83* Conscientiousness Locus of Control Work Volition .26* Neuroticism .06 .15* Figure H 1 . Parameter e stimates for the structural m odel controlling for covariates .


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54 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Alex Jadidian received his undergraduate Bachelor of S cience degree from th e University of Florida in the s pring of 2009. He completed his internship at the W.G. Hefner VA Medica l Center in Salisbury, North Carolina. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in the summer of 2014.

PAGE 1 of Career Assessment The online version of this article can be found at: DOI: 10.1177/1069072711420851 2012 20: 154 originally published online 10 October 2011 Journal of Career Assessment Alex Jadidian and Ryan D. DuffyExamination of Mediators and Moderators Work Volition, Career Decision Self-Efficacy, and Academic Satisfaction: An Published by: can be found at: Journal of Career Assessment Additional services and information for Email Alerts: Subscriptions: Reprints: Permissions: Citations: What is This? Oct 10, 2011 OnlineFirst Version of Record Apr 9, 2012 Version of Record >> at UNIV OF FLORIDA Smathers Libraries on September 2, 2013 Downloaded from


WorkVolition,CareerDecision Self-Efficacy,andAcademic Satisfaction:AnExamination ofMediatorsandModeratorsAlexJadidian1andRyanD.Duffy1Abstract Thepresentstudyexaminedtherelationofworkvolitiontocareerdecisionself-efficacy(CDSE)and academicsatisfactioninadiversesampleof447undergraduatecollegestudents.Workvolitionwas foundtobemoderatelycorrelatedwithacademicsatisfactionandstronglycorrelatedwithCDSE. PotentialmediatorsandmoderatorsinthelinkofworkvolitiontoCDSEandacademicsatisfaction werealsoexamined.Worklocusofcontrol(WLOC)wasfoundtopartiallymediatetheserelations, andbootstrappingtechniquesconfirmedthesignificanceofindirecteffects.Additionally,themoderatingeffectsofgenderandethnicityintheserelationswereexamined.Althoughgenderwasnot asignificantmoderatorineitherrelation,ethnicitywasfoundtomoderatetherelationbetween workvolitionandacademicsatisfaction,suchthatworkvolitionrelatedmorestronglytoacademic satisfactionforthosewhoself-identifiedasWhite,relativetothosewhodidnot.Implicationsfor researchandpracticearediscussed. Keywords workvolition,careerdecisionself-efficacy,academicsatisfaction Foryears,vocationalpsychologistshavesoughttounderstandthecomplicateddynamicssurroundingthecareerdecision-makingprocess.Therehavebeenseveralmajortheoriesthathavearisenin anattempttoexplainthiscomplexprocess(e.g.,Fouad,2007;Holland,1997;Lent,Brown,& Hackett,1994).Thesetheorieshaveprimarilyfocusedonpersonaltraitssuchasvalues,skills,and interests,andsecondarilyonthecontextofanindividual’slife.Inadditiontoafocusorientedtoward theindividual,thesetheoriesoftenshareanassumptionoffreechoice.Thatis,mostofthedominant theoriesofvocationalbehaviorassumethatindividualshavethecapacitytochoosethecareersthey willpursue.Recentresearch,especiallyoncareerbarriersandwithimpoverishedorlowerclass populations,hasshownthatmanypeoplefeelrestrictionsintheirabilitytomakecareerdecisions (e.g.,Creed,Patton,&Bartrum,2004;Gushue,Clarke,Pantzer,&Scanlan,2004;Lindley,2005; 1DepartmentofPsychology,UniversityofFlorida,Gainesville,FL,USA CorrespondingAuthor: AlexJadidian,DepartmentofPsychology,UniversityofFlorida,P.O.Box112250,Gainesville,FL32611,USA Email:alexjad@ufl.eduJournalofCareerAssessment 20(2)154-165TheAuthor(s)2012 Reprintsandpermission: DOI:10.1177/1069072711420851 154 at UNIV OF FLORIDA Smathers Libraries on September 2, 2013 Downloaded from


Lopez&Ann-Yi,2006;Luzzo,1995,1996;Luzzo&McWhirter,2001;Patton,Creed,&Watson, 2003). Despitethefactthatresearchontheincorporationofrestrictedchoice(orrelatedconstructs)has beenlimitedwithinmajorvocationaltheories,numerousscholarshaveemphasizedtheimportance ofstudyinghowtheperceptionofchoicerelatestoimportantvocationaloutcomes(e.g.,Blustein, 2006;Cook,Heppner,&O’Brien,2002;Duffy&Dik,2009;Fouad&Byars-Winston,2005).Buildingonthiscall,thegoalofthepresentstudyistoexaminehowworkvolition,definedastheperceived capacitytomakeoccupationalchoicesdespiteconstraints,relatestothecareerdecisionself-efficacy (CDSE)andacademicsatisfactionofcollegestudents.Inaddition,weseektoexaminethepotential mediatingeffectsofworklocusofcontrol(WLOC)andmoderatingeffectsofgenderandethnicityon theserelations.Whereasworkvolitionassessestheperceivedcapacitytomakechoicesinthefaceof constraints,CDSEassessesone’sconfidenceinperformingspecificcareer-relatedtasks,andWLOC assessesageneralperceptionofcontrolinone’sworklife.Inthefollowingsections,webrieflyreview thepsychologyofworkingasaframeworkforourstudy’sgoalsandhypothesesandexamineprevious researchonworkvolitionandsimilarvariablesastheyrelatetovocationaloutcomes.TheoreticalBackgroundThepsychology-of-workingframework,positedbyBlustein(2006),viewsindividualsasdecision makerswholiveinacomplexworldthatcanconstraintheirlevelofchoice.Accordingtothisframework,workistheprimarymeansthoughwhichindividualsmeettheirneedsforsurvival,relatedness,andself-determination;however,manyindividualsarenotprivilegedtohavethefreedom ofselectingdesiredcareeroptions,andconsequentlyoftenfailtomeetalloftheirneeds(Blustein, Kenna,Gill,&Devoy,2008).Inthisrespect,thepsychology-of-workingframeworkismoreencompassingandisapplicabletothosewhomthefieldofvocationalpsychologyhasoftenoverlooked. Blustein,Kenna,Gill,andDevoy(2008)notedthat‘‘itisclearthereisanurgentneedtodevelop amoreinclusiveperspectivewithrespecttoindividualswhodonotexperiencemuch,ifany,volition intheirworklives’’(p.296).Thisquotehighlightstheneedforresearchersandcounselorstoexpand theirconceptualizationsofvocationalpsychologytoencompassthecomplexitiesofeveryone’slife, notonlythepeoplefortunateenoughtoleadalifewithfewbarriersandhighchoice. Todate,littleresearchhasbeencompletedspecificallyexploringtheconstructofworkvolition, perhapsdueinparttovalidinstrumentsonlyrecentlyhavingbeendeveloped(Duffy,Diemer,& Jadidian,2012;Duffy,Diemer,Perry,Laurenzi,&Torrey,inpress).Althoughtheconstructofwork volitionhasnotbeenstudiedindepth,researchdoesexistwhichhasexaminedconstructsanalogous toworkvolitionandtheirrelationstoimportantvocationalandacademicoutcomes.Mostnotable amongthesehavebeensenseofcontrolandperceptionsofbarriers.Inanefforttoprovidecontext andbuildhypothesesforthecurrentstudy,researchonhowtheseconstructsrelatetovocationaland academicoutcomesisbrieflyreviewed.SenseofControlIngeneral,researchwithcollegestudentshasshownthatagreatersenseofpersonalcontrol(ormore internallocusofcontrol)relatesfavorablytovocationalandacademicoutcomes.Forexample, Lease(2004)foundthataninternallocusofcontrolwasassociatedwithlesscareerdecisionmakingdifficultyinasampleofAfricanAmericanandWhitecollegestudents.Otherstudieswith collegestudentshavefoundagreatersenseofcontroltobelinkedtogreaterCDSE(Luzzo,Funk,& Strang,1996;Taylor&Popma,1990).Additionally,locusofcontrolhasbeenshowntorelateto careeradaptability;studentsendorsingagreatersenseofpersonalcontroltendtobemoreadaptable totheworldofwork(Duffy,2010;Ng&Feldman,2009).JadidianandDuffy 155 155 at UNIV OF FLORIDA Smathers Libraries on September 2, 2013 Downloaded from


Alongwithvocationaloutcomes,researchhasexaminedtherelationbetweensenseofcontroland academicoutcomevariables.Ingeneral,findingsshowthathavingagreatersenseofcontrolis associatedwithpositiveacademicoutcomes.Studyingacademicachievementinhighschoolstudents,Shepherd,Owen,Fitch,andMarshall(2006)foundthatstudentswithamoreinternallocus ofcontrolhadhighergradepointaveragesthanthosewithamoreexternallocusofcontrol.Ina sampleof232collegestudentsenrolledineitherageneralpsychologyoraresearchmethodscourse, Kirkpatrick,Stant,Dawnes,andGather(2008)foundthatthosewithamoreinternallocusofcontrol outperformedthosewithamoreexternallocusofcontrolbynearlyalettergrade.Additionally, researchhasdemonstratedarelationbetweenlocusofcontrolandstudyskills,avariableimportant foracademicperformance(Onwuegbuzie&Daley,1998).Insum,theliteratureonsenseofcontrol hasconsistentlyshownevidencethatagreaterperceptionofcontrolisrelatedtopositivevocational andacademicoutcomes.PerceptionsofBarriersThoughnotadirectmeasureofsenseofcontrol,careerbarriersareimpedimentstoachievingone’s careergoalsandhaveanegativerelationtolocusofcontrol(Brown,Reedy,Fountain,Johnson,& Dichiser,2000).Ingeneral,researchwithcollegestudentshasshownthathigherperceptionsof barriersrelateunfavorablytovocationalandacademicoutcomes.Forexample,Luzzo(1996)found thatcollegestudentswhoperceivedmorefutureoccupationalbarriersweremorelikelytoexhibit lowerlevelsofCDSE.Creedetal.(2004)studiedasampleoffinalyearhighschoolstudentsand foundthatinternalandexternalbarrierspredictedlowerCDSEinmales.LopezandAnn-Yi (2006)studiedcareerindecisioninasampleofWhite,AfricanAmerican,andHispanicwomen,and foundthatcareerbarrierswerepositivelycorrelatedwithcareerindecisionandnegativelycorrelated withcareerself-efficacy.Additionally,inasampleofAfricanAmericanhighschoolstudents,those whoperceivedmorebarrierswerefoundtohavehigherratesofcareerindecisionthanthosewho perceivedfewerbarriers(Constantine,Wallace,&Kindaichi,2005).Furthermore,perceivingmore barriershasbeenshowntohaveanegativerelationtovariousothervocationaloutcomessuchas vocationalidentity,careermaturity,careersatisfaction,andcareeradaptability(Gushueetal., 2004;Kenny&Bledsoe,2005;Pattonetal.,2003;Rochlen,Good,&Carver,2009). Barriershavealsobeenexaminedinrelationtoacademicoutcomes.Inasampleofhighschool students,WoodandClay(1996)foundaninverserelationbetweentheamountofbarriersperceived andacademicperformance.Controllingforgender,generationlevel,andparentseducationlevel, OjedaandFlores(2008)foundthatperceivededucationalbarrierssignificantlypredictedstudents’ educationalaspirations.Ithasalsobeendemonstratedthatperceivedbarriersarenegativelyassociatedwithhighschoolstudents’commitmenttoschool(Kenny,Blustein,Chaves,Grossman, &Gallagher,2003).Insum,researchhasshownthatfactorswhichcanlimitchoice,namelybarriers, areassociatedwithvariousunfavorablevocationalandacademicoutcomes.ThePresentStudyBuildingonpriorresearchwithcareerbarriersandsenseofcontrol,thegoalofthecurrentstudyisto explorehowworkvolition,acentralconstructinBlustein’spsychology-of-workingframework (2006),relatestotheCDSEandacademicsatisfactionofundergraduatestudents.Namely,wewill examinethedirectrelationsamongthesevariablesaswellasthepotentialmediatingeffectof WLOCandthepotentialmoderatingeffectsofgenderandethnicity. WechoosetoexamineCDSEandacademicsatisfactionasoutcomesgiventheirimportanceto collegestudentcareerdevelopment.CDSEconcernsconfidenceinperformingcareertasks,which iscriticalasstudentstraversethedecision-makingprocess.Academicsatisfactionconcerns156 JournalofCareerAssessment20(2) 156 at UNIV OF FLORIDA Smathers Libraries on September 2, 2013 Downloaded from


students’satisfactionwiththeirclassesandcurrentmajor.Allen(1996)notedthatacademicsatisfactionisanalogoustojobsatisfactionbecauseofthefactthatsimilartoworkenvironments,academicenvironmentsvarywithrespecttoopportunitiestoimplementone’sself-concept, opportunitiestouseone’sskillsandinterests,andreinforcementpatterns.Asaresultofexamining acollegestudentpopulation,andperceivingthatjobsatisfactionisamoredistaloutcomemeasure forthepopulationstudied,wechosetoexaminecollegestudent’sacademicsatisfaction. WLOCisexaminedasapotentialmediatorbetweenworkvolitionandbothCDSEandacademicsatisfactionforseveralreasons.First,theassociationbetweenconstructssimilartowork volitionandWLOChasbeendemonstrated;themorebarriersoneperceives,themoreexternally orientedtheirlocusofcontrol(Brownetal.,2000).Second,researchhasshownarelation betweenlocusofcontrolandCDSE,specificallythemoreinternalone’slocusofcontrolis,the highertheirCDSE(Croteau&Slaney,1994;Taylor&Popma,1990).WLOCisconceptualized asaglobalviewofcontrolinone’sworklife,andishypothesizedtoserveasmediatorbetween themorespecificvocationalvariablesrelatedtocareerchoice(workvolition),careerdecisionmakingconfidence(CDSE),andsatisfactionwithintheacademicdomain.Wesuspectthata greaterperceptionofpowerinthechoicedomainwillbeaprecursortoagreatersenseofcontrol overworkingeneral.Assuch,wehypothesizethattheperceivedcapacitytomakeoccupational choicesdespiteconstraintswillleadtogreaterCDSEandacademicsatisfactiondue,inpart,toa greaterwork-relatedsenseofcontrol. InadditiontounderstandingwhyworkvolitionrelatestoacademicssatisfactionandCDSE (mediators),wesoughttoexamineforwhomtheserelationsmaybestrongerorweaker(moderators).Thepresentstudysoughttoaddresstheneedmanyvocationalpsychologistshavecalledfor inexaminingtherolesgenderandethnicityplayinthecareerdevelopmentprocess.Thedecision wasmadetoexaminegenderandethnicityasmoderatingvariables,givenpastresearchwhich hasshownthatwomenandethnicminoritiesreportperceivingmorebarriersandlowervolition thanmenandthoseintheethnicmajority(Fouad&Byars-Winston,2005;Lopez&Ann-Yi, 2006;Luzzo&McWhirter,2001;Swanson,Daniels,&Tokar,1996).Thepsychology-ofworkingframeworkalsotheorizesthatthosewhoexperiencesocialoppressionfromsexismand racismwouldhavemorerestrictedcareeroptions,resultinginadecreasedabilitytomeettheir needs.Theabovehypothesesandresearchquestionswillbeexaminedusingalargeanddiverse sampleofundergraduatestudents.Method ParticipantsTheparticipantswere447studentsatalarges outheasternresearchuniversityintheUnited States.Theparticipantswere34.5 % male( n 154)and65.5 % female(n 293).Participants reportedameanageof18.48years( SD 1.71);36.9 % self-identifiedasWhite( N 165), 13.4% AfricanAmerican( N 60),12.5% AsianorAsianAmerican( N 56),11.6% Multiethnic( N 52),7.4 % SouthAmerican( N 33),5.8 % Cuban( N 26),3.1 % Caribbean( N 14),2.7 % PuertoRican( N 12),2 % MiddleEastern(N 9),1.6 % CentralAmerican( N 7), 1.3 % Mexican( N 6),0.9 % PacificIslander( N 4),0.4 % AmericanIndian,Eskimo( N 2), and0.2 % Other( N 1).Fortheanalysespurposed,aLatino/agroupwascreatedthatwas composedofindividualswhoself-identifie dasSouthAmerican,PuertoRican,Mexican, Cuban,orCentralAmerican(N 84).ThesixmostrepresentedmajorswereBiology (10.5 % , N 47),HealthSciences(9.4 % , N 42),Psychology(8.7 % , N 39),Nursing (7.83 % , N 35),AppliedPhysiologyandKinesiology(4.3 % , N 19),andExploratory (3.6 % , N 16).JadidianandDuffy 157 157 at UNIV OF FLORIDA Smathers Libraries on September 2, 2013 Downloaded from


ProcedureParticipantswererecruitedthroughthepsychologyparticipantpoolandwerecompensatedwith creditstowardacourserequirementforresearchparticipation.Thesurveywasavailabletostudents fromJune2010throughDecember2010andtookapproximately30mintocomplete.Special restrictionswereusedtoensureethnicdiversity.Thiswasdonebytrackingtheparticipants’ethnicitiesthroughoutthetimethesurveywasopenandlimitingittostudentswhoself-identifiedasan ethnicminorityonceoursamplecontainedalargenumberofparticipantsself-identifyingasWhite.InstrumentsWorkvolition. WorkvolitionwasassessedusingtheWorkVolitionScale–StudentVersion (WVS-SV;Duffy,Diemer,&Jadidian,2012).TheWVS-SViscomposedof16items,which assessaparticipant’sperceivedcapacitytomakeoccupationalchoicesdespiteconstraints.Sampleitemsinclude‘‘IwillbeabletodothekindofworkIwantto,despiteexternalbarriers’’and ‘‘IwillbeabletochoosejobsthatIwant.’’Participantsanswereditemsona7-pointLikert-type scalerangingfrom1 stronglydisagree to7 stronglyagree .DuffyandDiemer(2010),witha diversesampleof379undergraduatestudents,foundaninternalconsistencyof.92,anda2-week test–retestreliabilityof.73.Additionally,theyfoundworkvolitiontocorrelateintheexpected directionswithsimilarconstructsincludingCDSE,coreself-evaluations,careerlocusofcontrol, careerbarriers,andtheBigFivepersonalitytraits.Noneoftheserelations,particularlycareer barriersandcareerlocusofcontrol,approachedcorrelationlevelstobeconsiderednondistinct constructs.Inthepresentstudy,theestimatedinternalconsistencyreliabilitywas a .89. Careerdecisionmakingefficacy. CDSEwasassessedusingtheshortformoftheCDSEScale (CDSE-SF;Betz,Klein,&Taylor,1996).TheCDSE-SFiscomposedof25itemsandmeasuresthe individuals’beliefthattheycansuccessfullycompletethenecessarytaskstomakecareerdecisions. Participantsareinstructedtoindicatetheirlevelofconfidenceona5-pointscalerangingfrom1 Noconfidenceatall ,to5 Completeconfidence .Sampleitemsinclude‘‘Changemajorsifyoudid notlikeyourfirstchoice’’and‘‘Successfullymanagethejobinterviewprocess.’’Constructvalidity fortheCDSE-SFhasbeenshownthroughcorrelationsintheexpecteddirectionwithvocational identityandcareerdecision(Betzetal.,1996;Betz&Taylor,2001).Inthreelargesamplesofundergraduates,Betzetal.(1996)foundtotalscorereliabilitytobebetween.94and.95.Inthepresent study,theestimatedinternalconsistencyreliabilitywas a .95. Academicsatisfaction. Tomeasureacademicsatisfactionthe6-itemAcademicMajorSatisfaction Scale(AMSS;Nauta,2007)wasused.Participantswereaskedtoindicatetheirlevelofagreement withstatementssuchas‘‘OverallIamhappywiththemajorI’vechosen’’and‘‘Ifeelgoodaboutthe majorI’veselected.’’Theresponseformatisa5-pointLikert-typescalethatrangesfrom1 stronglydisagree to5 stronglyagree .Nauta(2007)foundthisscaleabletodistinguishbetween studentswhochangedtheirmajorsandthosewhoremainedintheirmajorsduring1-and2-yearperiods.AMSSwasalsofoundtocorrelateintheexpecteddirectionswithgradepointaverage,CDSE, careerchoiceanxiety,andgeneralizedindecisiveness.Additionally,intwoindependentsamples, Nautahadinternalconsistenciesof.90and.94.Inthepresentstudy,theestimatedinternalconsistencyreliabilitywas a .92. Worklocusofcontrol. TomeasureWLOC,the16-itemWorkLocusofControlScale(WLCS; Spector,1988)wasused.Participantsareaskedtoindicatetheirlevelofagreementonitemsusing a6-pointLikert-typescalerangingfrom1 Disagreeverymuch to6 Agreeverymuch .Sample itemsinclude‘‘Gettingajobismostlyamatterofluck’’and‘‘Ittakesalotoflucktobean158 JournalofCareerAssessment20(2) 158 at UNIV OF FLORIDA Smathers Libraries on September 2, 2013 Downloaded from


outstandingemployeeonmostjobs.’’Foreaseininterpretation,wehavereversedthescalesothat higherscoresindicatemoreinternality.Spector(1988)showedcriterionvaliditywithcorrelationin theexpecteddirectionwithjobsatisfaction.Additionally,insixsamples,Spectorfoundinternalconsistencyestimatestobebetween.75and.85.Inthepresentstudy,theestimatedinternalconsistency reliabilitywas a .84.ResultsDescriptiveanalysesandnormalityassessmentswerecomputedforallofthevariables.Allvariables hadskewnessandkurtosiscoefficientslessthan1.00.Histogramsofthefourvariableswerevisually examinedforskewness,kurtosis,andoutliers.Thevisualinspectionofthehistograms,alongwith theskewnessandkurtosiscoefficients,didnotrevealanyneedtotransformthedataorremoveoutliers,thereforeweproceededwithouttransformation. First,groupdifferencesinworkvolitionwereexamined.Differencesbetweenmen(M 84.99, SD 15.12)andwomen( M 86.02, SD 14.81)werenonsignificant.Aone-wayANOVAwas conductedfindingsignificantgroupdifferencesinworkvolitionbetweenAfricanAmerican,Asian, Latino,andWhitestudents.Whiteparticipantshadthehighestworkvolitionscores(M 89.25, SD 14.77),followedbyLatino/aparticipants( M 86.65, SD 13.62),AfricanAmericanparticipants( M 81.85, SD 14.99),andAsian/AsianAmericans( M 77.31, SD 13.58).Tukey’s posthoctestsrevealedsignificantgroupdifferences( p <.01)betweenWhiteandAfricanAmerican students,WhiteandAsianAmericanstudents,andLatino/aandAsianAmericanstudents,with WhitestudentsscoringhigherthanAfricanAmericanandAsianstudents,andLatino/astudents scoringhigherthanAsianstudents.Second,correlationswerecomputedtodeterminetheassociationsbetweenworkvolition,CDSE,WLOC,andacademicsatisfaction.AsseeninTable1,work volitionhadastrongcorrelationwithCDSE(.51),amoderate–strongcorrelationwithWLOC (.49),andamoderatecorrelationwithacademicsatisfaction(.35).Additionally,WLOCwasfound tomoderatelycorrelatewithCDSE(.36)andacademicsatisfaction(.35),supportingthecomputationofmediationanalyses. Third,twomodelsweretestedtoexaminethemediatingeffectsthatWLOChadontherelations ofworkvolitiontoCDSEandacademicsatisfaction.Themediationmodelswereexaminedusing statisticalpackageforthesocialsciences(SPSS)macrodevelopedbyPreacherandHayes (2004).Forthefirstmodel,showninFigure1,thestandardizedforthedirecteffectofworkvolition toWLOC(.45)andthedirecteffectoftheWLOCtoCDSE(.15)werebothsignificantatthe p <.01 level;therelationofworkvolitiontoCDSEwasalsosignificant(.51; p <.01).Withtheadditionof themediator,thepathfromworkvolitiontoCDSEdecreasedfrom.51to.44,signifyingapartial mediation.Theindirecteffectofworkvolitiononacademicsatisfaction,asmediatedbyWLOC, wasalsosignificant(.07; p <.01). Thesecondmodel,showninFigure2,wasexaminedinthesamefashionasthefirst,butwith academicsatisfactionreplacingCDSE.Thestandardizedcoefficientsforthedirecteffectofwork Table1. DescriptiveStatisticsandBivariateCorrelations Variable MS D 1234 1Workvolition 85.6714.90 2Worklocusofcontrol 42.4610.08.49 3Careerdecisionself-efficacy94.8216.15.51.36 4Academicsatisfaction Note. Allcorrelationssignificantatthe p <.05level.JadidianandDuffy 159 159 at UNIV OF FLORIDA Smathers Libraries on September 2, 2013 Downloaded from


volitiontoWLOC(.46)andthedirecteffectoftheWLOCtoacademicsatisfaction(.23)wereboth significantatthe p <.01level.Additionally,therelationofworkvolitiontoacademicsatisfaction wassignificant(.33, p <.01),andwhenWLOCwasaddedasamediator,thepathdecreasedfrom.33 to.23.Theindirecteffectofworkvolitiononacademicsatisfaction,asmediatedbyWLOC,was significant(.10; p <.01). Inbothmodels,workvolitionwasfoundtohaveasignificant,indirecteffectonCDSEand academicsatisfactionviaWLOC.However,scholarshaveadvisedthatthesignificanceofthese effectsisbesttestedbybootstrappingtechniques(Preacher,Rucker,&Hayes,2007;Shrout& Bolger,2002).Followingthesuggestionsoftheseauthors,wecreated10,000bootstrapsamples usingthePreacherandHayes(2004)mediationmacro.Theconfidenceintervalsoftheindirect effectforeachofthemodelswereexamined.Asignificantfindingissuggestedbyconfidenceintervalsthatdonotincludezero.SupportwasfoundfortheindirecteffectofworkvolitiononCDSEas mediatedbyWLOC( SE .02,CI [.02,.12])andfortheindirecteffectofworkvolitiononacademicsatisfactionasmediatedbyWLOC( SE .25,CI [.06,.15]). Finally,therelationsofworkvolitiontobothacademicsatisfactionandCDSEwereexamined withgenderandethnicityasmoderators.Ethnicitywasdummycodedtolookattheethnicmajority (White)comparedtoallotherminoritiescombined,includingthosewhoidentifiedasmultiethnic. Work Locus of Control Work Volition Career Decision Self-Efficacy .45* .15*(.07*) .51* .44* Figure1. Indirecteffectsofworkvolitiononcareerdecis ionself-efficacythroughworklocusofcontrol. N 393.Coefficientssignificantat p <.01areindicatedwithanasterisk(*). Work Locus of Control Academic Satisfaction Work Volition .46* .23* (.10*) .33* .23* Figure2. Indirecteffectsofworkvolitiononacademicsatisfactionthroughworklocusofcontrol. N 393. Coefficientssignificantat p <.01areindicatedwithanasterisk(*). 160 JournalofCareerAssessment20(2) 160 at UNIV OF FLORIDA Smathers Libraries on September 2, 2013 Downloaded from


Researchhasshownthatthediscrepancywithintheliteratureonlimitedchoicenotonlyexists betweencertainethnicgroupsintheUnitedStates(Lopez&Ann-Yi,2006;Luzzo&McWhirter, 2001)butcanbecharacterizedintermsofmajorityandminorityculture(Fouad&Byars-Winston, 2005);severalstudiesconductedoutsidetheUnitedStateshaveshownthatthoseintheethnicmajority perceivefewerbarriersthanthoseintheethnicminorityusingsamplesofstudentsinPortugaland SouthAfrica(Cardoso&FerreiraMarques,2008;Stead,Els,&Fouad,2004).Althoughtheauthors recognizethevastindividualdifferenceswithinagroupcomposedofallminorities,wesoughtto examinethosefactorsthataffectallofthosewhodonotidentifywiththemajorityethnicgroup. Toexaminethis,fourhierarchicalregressionswererun.ThefirstregressionhadCDSEasthe dependentvariable,genderandastandardized z -scoreofworkvolitioninStep1,andacomputed genderbyworkvolitioninteractionterminStep2.Asecondmodelwasruninasimilarfashion testingethnicityasamoderatorintherelationofworkvolitiontoCDSE.Thethirdmodelexamined genderasamoderatorforworkvolitionandacademicsatisfaction,andfinallyafourthmodelexaminedethnicityasamoderatorbetweenworkvolitionandacademicsatisfaction.Ofthefourmoderationmodelstested,theonlysignificantinteractioneffectwasfoundforethnicitybyworkvolition; thisinteractiontermsignificantlypredictedacademicsatisfactionaboveandbeyondthatvariance accountedforbyethnicityandworkvolition, B 1.492, t (418) 2.908, p <.05.Figure3shows avisualrepresentationofthesignificantworkvolitionbyethnicityinteraction.DiscussionThegoalofthepresentstudywastoexaminetherelationofworkvolitiontoCDSEandacademic satisfactioninundergraduatestudents.Groupdifferenceswereexaminedandreportedforworkvolitiontoaidintheunderstandingofthedifferentialperceptionsinthecapacitytomakeoccupational choicesamongvariousdemographicgroups.Ourfindingthatthoseinthemajorityethnicgroup (White)perceivedhigherworkvolitionthanthoseintheminorityethnicgroupsisconsistentwith Figure3. Theinteractionofworkvolitionandethnicityonacademicsatisfaction. JadidianandDuffy 161 161 at UNIV OF FLORIDA Smathers Libraries on September 2, 2013 Downloaded from


theliteratureonbarriers(Fouad&Byars-Winston,2005;Luzzo&McWhirter,2001;Swansonetal., 1996).Thisdifferencemaybeexplained,atleastinpart,bythefactthatethnicminoritiesaremore likelythanthoseintheethnicmajoritytoperceivediscriminatory,financial,andchildcareconcern barriers(Luzzo&McWhirter,2001),potentiallyrelatingtoalowersenseofvolition. TheinitialfindingsthatworkvolitionissignificantlyandpositivelyrelatedtobothCDSEand academicsatisfactionconfirmourhypotheses.ThesefindingsreinforcetheideathatforcollegestudentsintheUnitedStates,theperceivedcapacitytomakeoccupationalchoicesdespiteconstraintsis relatedtoimprovementsonimportantvocationalandacademicoutcomemeasures(Creedetal., 2004;Luzzo,1996).Increasedvolitionrelatestoanenhancedabilitytomakedecisionsandfeelsatisfied.AssessingWLOCasapotentialmediatorintherelationbetweenworkvolitionandCDSEand academicsatisfactionhasprovidedanaddedpiecetoourunderstandingofthisprocess. Supportingourhypothesis,WLOCpartiallymediatedtherelationbetweenworkvolitionand CDSE.Thisfindingdemonstratesthatatleastoneofthepotentialreasonsthatthosewithhigher workvolitionaremoreconfidentintheirabilitytomakecareerdecisionsisrelatedtogreaterfeelingsofwork-relatedcontrol.Similarly,oursecondhypothesiswassupported,asWLOCpartially mediatedtherelationbetweenworkvolitionandacademicsatisfaction.Thisseemstoindicatethat thosewithhigherworkvolitionfeltmoreacademicallysatisfied,inpart,becauseofanincreased senseofwork-relatedcontrol.Bothofthesemediationfindingsarenew,butarealsosupported bypreviousliterature(e.g.,Croteau&Slaney,1994)whichhasfoundthatthosewhofeelmore incontrolfeelbetterabletomakecareerdecisions,andviceversa.Thesefindingsenhanceour understandingastowhyworkvolitionmaybebeneficialtothevocationalwell-beingofundergraduatestudentsandalsohighlightstheneedtoexploremorepotentialreasonsfortheserelationsgiven thatWLOCactedonlyasapartialmediator. Ourfinalresearchquestionconcernedthemoderatingeffectsofgenderandethnicity.Here,our goalwastoseeifthedifferencesinperceptionsofbarriersillustratedintheliteraturebetweengender andmajority/minoritygroupstranslatedintoaninteractioneffectbetweenworkvolitionandourtwo outcomevariables,CDSEandacademicsatisfaction.Theinteractioneffectofworkvolitionandethnicityonacademicsatisfactionwassignificantandpotentiallycompelling.Ourfindingsshowthat forWhitestudents,increasesinworkvolitionwererelatedtogreaterincreasesinacademicsatisfaction,relativetominoritystudents.Inotherwords,theperceivedcapacitytomakeoccupational choicesdespiteconstraintsseemstobeamoreimportantfactorintheacademicsatisfactionofWhite students,relativetominoritystudents.LimitationsandFutureDirectionsTheresultsofthepresentstudyneedtobeexaminedinlightofseverallimitations.Thefirstlimitationisthatoursamplewascollectedusingapsychologydepartmentparticipantpool.Althoughour samplewasdiversealongdimensionsofmajor,gender,andethnicity,itwasdrawnfromaspecific collegepopulation,atoneuniversity.Relatedtothispoint,ourstudyonlyexaminedapopulation thatdecidedtopursuehighereducationandwasfortunateenoughtobeenrolledatauniversity.This isanimportantlimitationtoconsider,especiallywhenstudyingcareerchoice.Thepopulationwe sampledfromhasnotencounteredorhasovercomecertainbarriersthatpreventmanypeoplefrom enteringcollege.Ifwearetotrulyunderstandthehistoricallyoverlookedpopulations,abroader samplewillbeessentialtoanyfuturestudiestestingthese,orsimilarfindings.Asecondlimitation isthefactthatourstudydoesnotlookathowthesevariableschangeordevelopovertime.Longitudinalresearchexamininghowworkvolitionaffectsvariousaspectsofone’svocationallifeover timeisalsoanareainneedofexamination. Ourfindingsmaypointtosomepromisingareasofresearchrelatedtocareerortherapeuticintervention.Ourfindingssuggestthattheremaybegroupdifferencesintheeffectoftheperceived162 JournalofCareerAssessment20(2) 162 at UNIV OF FLORIDA Smathers Libraries on September 2, 2013 Downloaded from


capacitytomakechoicesinthefaceofconstraintsoncollegestudents’academicandvocational lives.Researchexaminingtheeffectsofdifferentinterventiontechniquesaimedatincreasingwork volitionwouldbeextremelyhelpfulinunderstandingtheapplicationofthepresentstudy’sfindings. Additionally,ourfindingsindicatethattheglobalperceptionofcontrolinone’sworklifeonly explainsasmallpartofthepositiveeffectworkvolitioncanhaveonself-efficacyandsatisfaction. Moreresearchisneededtoexploreotherexplanatorymechanisms.Insum,thisstudyaddsasmall pieceofunderstandingtoaverycomplexpuzzle.Wehopethatresearchonworkvolitioncontinues, andweareconfidentthatabetterunderstandingofthisconstructwilldeepenandbroadenourunderstandingofvocationalbehavior. DeclarationofConflictingInterests Theauthorsdeclarednopotentialconflictsofinterestwithrespecttotheresearch,authorship, and/orpublicationofthisarticle. Funding Theauthorsreceivednofinancials upportfortheresearch,authors hip,and/orpublicationofthis article. ReferencesAllen,M.L.(1996).Dimensionsofeducationalsatisfactionandacademicachievementamongmusictherapy majors. JournalofMusicTherapy , 33 ,147. Betz,N.E.,Klein,K.L.,&Taylor,K.M.(1996).Evaluationofashortformofthecareerdecision-makingselfefficacyscale. JournalofCareerAssessment , 4 ,47.doi:10.1177/106907279600400103 Betz,N.E.,&Taylor,K.M.(2001). Manualforthecareerdecisionself-efficacyscaleandCDSE–shortform. Columbus:DepartmentofPsychology,TheOhioStateUniversity. Blustein,D.L.(2006). Thepsychologyofworking:Anewperspectiveforcareerdevelopment,counseling,and publicpolicy. Mahwah,NJ:Erlbaum. Blustein,D.L.,Kenna,A.C.,Gill,N.,&Devoy,J.E.(2008).Thepsychologyofworking:Anewframework forcounselingpracticeandpublicpolicy. CareerDevelopmentQuarterly , 56 ,294. Brown,C.,Reedy,D.,Fountain,J.,Johnson,A.,&Dichiser,T.(2000).Batteredwomen’scareerdecisionmakingself-efficacy:Furtherinsightsandcontributingfactors. JournalofCareerAssessment , 8 , 251.doi:10.1177/106907270000800304 Cardoso,P.,&FerreiraMarques,J.(2008).Perceptionofcareerbarriers:Theimportanceofgenderandethnic variables. InternationalJournalforEducationalandVocationalGuidance , 8 ,49.doi:10.1007/s10775008-9135-y Constantine,M.G.,Wallace,B.C.,&Kindaichi,M.M.(2005).Examiningcontextualfactorsinthecareer decisionstatusofAfricanAmericanadolescents. JournalofCareerAssessment , 13 ,307. doi:10.1177/1069072705274960 Cook,E.P.,Heppner,M.J.,&O’Brien,K.M.(2002).Careerdevelopmentofwomenofcolorandwhite women:Assumptions,conceptualization,andinterventionsfromanecologicalperspective. CareerDevelopmentQuarterly , 50 ,291. Creed,P.A.,Patton,W.,&Bartrum,D.(2004).Internalandexternalbarriers,cognitivestyle,andthecareer developmentvariablesoffocusandindecision. JournalofCareerDevelopment , 30 ,277.doi:10.1177/ 08948530403000404 Croteau,J.M.,&Slaney,R.B.(1994).Twomethodsofexploringinterests:Acomparisonofoutcomes. Career DevelopmentQuarterly , 42 ,252. Duffy,R.D.(2010).Senseofcontrolandcareeradaptabilityamongundergraduatestudents. JournalofCareer Assessment , 18 ,420. JadidianandDuffy 163 163 at UNIV OF FLORIDA Smathers Libraries on September 2, 2013 Downloaded from


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