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ERIC Number: EJ1167795
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0912
Anxiety and Self-Efficacy as Sequential Mediators in US College Students' Career Preparation
Deer, LillyBelle K.; Gohn, Kelsey; Kanaya, Tomoe
Education & Training, v60 n2 p185-197 2018
Purpose: Current college students in the USA are reporting higher levels of anxiety over career planning than previous generations, placing pressure on colleges to provide effective career development opportunities for their students. Research has consistently found that increasing career-related self-efficacy is particularly effective at increasing career-related behaviors among college students. These studies, however, do not account for the potentially negative impact of anxiety on cognitive, mediational pathways, including self-efficacy. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to determine if anxiety plays a sequentially mediating role in the relationship between self-efficacy and job search intentions among college students. Design/methodology/approach: Participants who were currently looking for a job or an internship were recruited to participate in an online study regarding career development preparation. Participants completed a job search behaviors "quiz" and were randomly assigned to either a "no feedback/control" condition or a "false-positive feedback/experimental" condition. Their career decision-making self-efficacy and state-trait anxiety were then assessed, as well as their intentions to engage in job search behaviors. A sequential mediational pathway analysis was performed to determine whether anxiety plays a mediational role in the relationship between self-efficacy and job search behaviors. Findings: The hypothesized sequential mediational model was statistically significant. More specifically, participants who were randomly assigned to receive positive feedback experienced significantly lower levels of anxiety than participants in the control condition. In turn, lower levels of anxiety led to significantly higher levels of self-efficacy and significantly higher levels of job search intentions. Practical implications: These findings have immediate implications for practitioners and educators who work with college students or any population that may be facing anxiety regarding the job search process. More specifically, these underscore the importance of lowering anxiety in order to lead to significantly higher levels of engagement in the career preparation process. Originality/value: Currently, few studies (if any) have examined the potential mediating impact of anxiety on career-related self-efficacy and career development. Furthermore, no study has incorporated experimental methodology to test multiple pathways between anxiety, self-efficacy, and career preparation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Career Decision Making Self Efficacy Scale; State Trait Anxiety Inventory
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A