Dodd, Courtney Felder (2013-08). The Development of Career Maturity and Career Decision Self-Efficacy Among High-School Aged Youth Enrolled in the Texas 4-H Healthy Lifestyles Program. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • The purpose of this study was to assess the career aspirations, career maturity and career decision-making self-efficacy among youth in the Texas 4-H Healthy Lifestyles Program. While career development is a life-long process, the adolescent years are a critical time for youth to explore and confirm their career choices, which is seen as a major turning point in one's life. A random sample of 350 was used to gather information from senior 4-H members who participate in the 4-H healthy lifestyles program. Data were collected with the use of an online survey instrument and resulted in a total of 170 responses (48.6%) with 127 of the responses (36.3%) being complete and usable. A scale developed by the researcher was used to measure the impact involvement in the 4-H healthy lifestyles program had on youths' career development. Very low, positive relationships were discovered between the healthy lifestyles program impact statements and years in 4-H; however, they were not significant. The Career Maturity Inventory (CMI) was incorporated into the online research instrument. The career maturity of the 4-H members was found to be greater than the high school norms. Significant differences were discovered based upon age. Very low, positive correlations were found for the CMI scores based upon years in 4-H; however, correlations were not significant. No significant differences were found for career maturity based upon gender. The Career Decision Self-Efficacy - Short Form (CDSE-SF) was also used in the data collection process to reveal the confidence in youth to make career decisions. Results indicate the 4-H members have good confidence in making career decisions. Females outscored males on the total mean score and four of the five sub-scales; however, the only significant difference based on gender was for problem solving. Significant differences were also discovered based upon age. When compared to years in 4-H, very low, positive correlations were found for the CDSE-SF mean score and all five sub-scales; however, only some were found to be significant. The results indicate that participation in the 4-H healthy lifestyles program has had an impact on career choice and development. Youth have a readiness to make career decisions, and high levels of confidence in completing tasks necessary to make decisions about careers. However, years in 4-H and the highest level of participation in healthy lifestyles program activities did not have a statistically significant impact on youths' career development. Feedback provided by youth on what the 4-H program can do to promote youth career interests and choice, guided some of the recommendations provided by the researcher.
  • The purpose of this study was to assess the career aspirations, career maturity and career decision-making self-efficacy among youth in the Texas 4-H Healthy Lifestyles Program. While career development is a life-long process, the adolescent years are a critical time for youth to explore and confirm their career choices, which is seen as a major turning point in one's life.

    A random sample of 350 was used to gather information from senior 4-H members who participate in the 4-H healthy lifestyles program. Data were collected with the use of an online survey instrument and resulted in a total of 170 responses (48.6%) with 127 of the responses (36.3%) being complete and usable.

    A scale developed by the researcher was used to measure the impact involvement in the 4-H healthy lifestyles program had on youths' career development. Very low, positive relationships were discovered between the healthy lifestyles program impact statements and years in 4-H; however, they were not significant.

    The Career Maturity Inventory (CMI) was incorporated into the online research instrument. The career maturity of the 4-H members was found to be greater than the high school norms. Significant differences were discovered based upon age. Very low, positive correlations were found for the CMI scores based upon years in 4-H; however, correlations were not significant. No significant differences were found for career maturity based upon gender.

    The Career Decision Self-Efficacy - Short Form (CDSE-SF) was also used in the data collection process to reveal the confidence in youth to make career decisions. Results indicate the 4-H members have good confidence in making career decisions. Females outscored males on the total mean score and four of the five sub-scales; however, the only significant difference based on gender was for problem solving. Significant differences were also discovered based upon age. When compared to years in 4-H, very low, positive correlations were found for the CDSE-SF mean score and all five sub-scales; however, only some were found to be significant.

    The results indicate that participation in the 4-H healthy lifestyles program has had an impact on career choice and development. Youth have a readiness to make career decisions, and high levels of confidence in completing tasks necessary to make decisions about careers. However, years in 4-H and the highest level of participation in healthy lifestyles program activities did not have a statistically significant impact on youths' career development. Feedback provided by youth on what the 4-H program can do to promote youth career interests and choice, guided some of the recommendations provided by the researcher.

publication date

  • August 2013