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ERIC Number: ED527193
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 146
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-6529-9
Social Cognitive Career Theory as Applied to the School-to-Work Transition
Kelly, Mary E.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Seton Hall University
The school-to-work (STW) transition occurs when young adults leave education and enter the full-time workforce. Most high school students in the United States will not graduate from a 4-year college and instead transition into the world of work, many filling positions in sales and service. Supporters of the STW movement advocate for educational reform to ensure that these students are prepared. The movement has been criticized because it lacks a theoretical basis. Social cognitive career theory (SCCT) was developed to explain how individuals form career interests, set vocational goals, persist in work environments, and attain job satisfaction. This study examines whether career decision self-efficacy, work outcome expectations, self- and environment exploration, overall life satisfaction, and socioeconomic status (SES) can predict an adaptive transition from school to the sales and service sectors, in the context of the SCCT work satisfaction model. Results were mixed. As predicted, outcome expectations, career decision self-efficacy, and life satisfaction were all associated with job satisfaction, but only outcome expectations had significant unique predictive value. Further, career decision self-efficacy mediated the relationship between life satisfaction and job satisfaction, and outcome expectations mediated the relationship between decision-making and job satisfaction, in accordance with predicted pathways of the SCCT work satisfaction model. Conversely, self- and environment exploration was unrelated to job satisfaction. The effect of SES was ambiguous, as higher and lower SES group means differed when the overall combination of variables used to predict work satisfaction was considered. However, differences were not detected when each measure was considered separately, which makes it problematic to interpret the group mean difference. Similarly, SES did not moderate the effect of any variable in terms of ability to predict job satisfaction. Overall, there are indeed clear paths to work satisfaction and thus to adaptive transition for young adults who move from school to work in the sales and service sectors without benefit of a college degree. This study is unique since workers from sales and service occupations are generally not included in career inquiry. However, because so many work in these sectors, more research needs to be dedicated to this population. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States