Adolescents face many crucial decisions that can affect them over the course of their lives, such as decisions about their education and vocational choices to pursue (Wigfield, & Eccles, 2002; Wigfield, & Wagner, 2005); many adolescents cope well with these decisions and make choices that lead to positive development outcomes for them (Kaplan, & Flum, 2010). The ability to plan a vocational choice is associated with identity development, self-efficacy in definition of professional interests, and the search for useful information to begin a education course (Gushue, et al., 2006; Hirschi, 2008; Nauta, 2007). Scientific literature shows how a greater identity development and coherence between personal interests and occupation improves the academic adjustment and the quality of working life, in terms of satisfaction, stability, success, and performance (Hirschi, 2010; Nauta, & Kahn, 2007; Tracey, 2010). The search investigates about some of the most important variables influencing the vocational decision making process during adolescence, in detail the relation between: a) identity states, classified in accordance with the Marcia’s paradigm (Achievement, Moratorium, Foreclosure, Diffusion), and vocational decision-making style according to the Scott and Bruce’s five-factor model (Rational, Intuitive, Dependent, Avoidant and Spontaneous); b) vocational interests and identity development; c) identity status and aptitude profile in decision-making competence.Method The study was conducted on 417 students (52.8% females; aged between 16-19 years), attending the 4th (M=17.2; SD=0.52) and 5th year (M=18.2; SD=0.64) of Italian high schools. The sample completed four measures: Intelligence Structure Test (Amthaeur, 2001); Ego Identity Process Questionnaire (Balistreri, Busch-Rossnagel, & Geisinger, 1995), Self-Directed Search (Polacek, 2001) and General Decision Making Style Inventory (Scott, & Bruce, 1995). Expected Outcomes Results indicated that most of the adolescents were classified as being in Identity Diffusion or, secondarily, in Foreclosure. Significant differences were found with respect to gender and age: boys showed predilection for political and working dimensions, girls preferred religion and friendship. Results of Multivariate Analysis of Variance revealed that girls had strong propensity towards use of dependent decisionmaking style; older adolescents had an higher mean on spontaneous style. Pearson’s correlation showed that high performances were positively associated with rational decision-making style, by contrast they were negatively correlated with intuitive and spontaneous scales; Identity Diffusion predicted the avoidant style. The structure of vocational interests differentiates students in identity development: higher differentiation in interests distinguished students in Achievement from the ones being in Diffusion. School performance was positively associated with coherence of interest and investigative preference, while it was negatively correlated with realistc and enterprising interests. Results, furthermore, revealed that the identity commitment and the coherence of interests predicted performance. Data encourage the study of aptitudes to increase knowledge regarding individuals’decision to seek career counseling; the focus on the identity development in relation with to the consistency of interests within educational choice may anable research the impact of psycho-educational interventions.

Identity Statuses, Aptitudes and Interests: Italian Adolescents and Career Decision-Making

PELLERONE, MONICA;SCHIMMENTI, Valeria
2011

Abstract

Adolescents face many crucial decisions that can affect them over the course of their lives, such as decisions about their education and vocational choices to pursue (Wigfield, & Eccles, 2002; Wigfield, & Wagner, 2005); many adolescents cope well with these decisions and make choices that lead to positive development outcomes for them (Kaplan, & Flum, 2010). The ability to plan a vocational choice is associated with identity development, self-efficacy in definition of professional interests, and the search for useful information to begin a education course (Gushue, et al., 2006; Hirschi, 2008; Nauta, 2007). Scientific literature shows how a greater identity development and coherence between personal interests and occupation improves the academic adjustment and the quality of working life, in terms of satisfaction, stability, success, and performance (Hirschi, 2010; Nauta, & Kahn, 2007; Tracey, 2010). The search investigates about some of the most important variables influencing the vocational decision making process during adolescence, in detail the relation between: a) identity states, classified in accordance with the Marcia’s paradigm (Achievement, Moratorium, Foreclosure, Diffusion), and vocational decision-making style according to the Scott and Bruce’s five-factor model (Rational, Intuitive, Dependent, Avoidant and Spontaneous); b) vocational interests and identity development; c) identity status and aptitude profile in decision-making competence.Method The study was conducted on 417 students (52.8% females; aged between 16-19 years), attending the 4th (M=17.2; SD=0.52) and 5th year (M=18.2; SD=0.64) of Italian high schools. The sample completed four measures: Intelligence Structure Test (Amthaeur, 2001); Ego Identity Process Questionnaire (Balistreri, Busch-Rossnagel, & Geisinger, 1995), Self-Directed Search (Polacek, 2001) and General Decision Making Style Inventory (Scott, & Bruce, 1995). Expected Outcomes Results indicated that most of the adolescents were classified as being in Identity Diffusion or, secondarily, in Foreclosure. Significant differences were found with respect to gender and age: boys showed predilection for political and working dimensions, girls preferred religion and friendship. Results of Multivariate Analysis of Variance revealed that girls had strong propensity towards use of dependent decisionmaking style; older adolescents had an higher mean on spontaneous style. Pearson’s correlation showed that high performances were positively associated with rational decision-making style, by contrast they were negatively correlated with intuitive and spontaneous scales; Identity Diffusion predicted the avoidant style. The structure of vocational interests differentiates students in identity development: higher differentiation in interests distinguished students in Achievement from the ones being in Diffusion. School performance was positively associated with coherence of interest and investigative preference, while it was negatively correlated with realistc and enterprising interests. Results, furthermore, revealed that the identity commitment and the coherence of interests predicted performance. Data encourage the study of aptitudes to increase knowledge regarding individuals’decision to seek career counseling; the focus on the identity development in relation with to the consistency of interests within educational choice may anable research the impact of psycho-educational interventions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11387/120608
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