Date of Award

Spring 2001

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Fox, Robert

Second Advisor

Burkard, Alan

Third Advisor

Melchert, Timothy P.


The purpose of the study was to investigate the factors related to career decision making of high school students and also to discover how much actual career knowledge students have of various careers. The current study utilized 217 high school students who completed the Career Factors Inventory (CFI) and the Career Orientation Survey (COS; Part 2, job Knowledge). A two-way MANOVA and appropriate follow-up statistics were used to determine the effects of year in school and gender on the four scales of the CFI. Main effect differences were found for gender. The findings indicated that females have a significantly higher Need For Career Information and Need For Self-Knowledge when making a career decision. A two-way ANOVA was used to examine the effects of year in school and gender on objective career knowledge as assessed by the COS. A significant main effect was found for year in school. Freshmen scored the lowest and seniors scored the highest on the COS. Correlations were run comparing grade point average (GPA) to the four factors of the CFI and COS score. Significant correlations were found as GPA was positively correlated with Need For Career Information, Need For Self-Knowledge, and COS score. However, GPA was negatively correlated with Generalized Indecisiveness. A secondary finding of the study was the impact of anxiety on career decision making. Nearly half of the sample reported experiencing some anxiety/distress and mild conflict when making a career decision as assessed by the Career Choice Anxiety factor of the CFI. Finally, supplemental analyses examined the relationship between year in school and gender on students' post-secondary intentions, parental influence on career decision making, and satisfaction with guidance. Implications are made to the counselor for effective utilization of the findings.



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