The exploration of role induction as a potential method for improving men's perceptions of career counseling.
The authors explored the influence of role induction on men's perceptions of career counseling and attitudes toward seeking professional help. Two separate role inductions were presented to 268 male college students; the first discussed holistic career counseling, and the second integrated a discussion of male gender role socialization. Results demonstrated that participants who viewed the holistic role induction reported greater valuing of career counseling when compared with a control group. However, results indicated no difference in perceptions of career counseling between a holistic career counseling role induction and one that included socialized male perceptions of counseling.
Work plays a central role in the life of men. Men have been socialized from childhood to connect their sense of self with work, often to the point that one's identity is found through work (Heppner & Heppner, 2001). A central component to the "code of masculinity" (Pollack & Levant, 1998, p. 1) is the importance of a man's career. Career decisions and choices influence how men find meaning in their lives, including the creation of a self-identity (Heppner & Heppner, 2001) and the establishment of self-worth (Kelly & Hall, 1992). Although work is socialized to be a vital component in men's lives, researchers have not fully explored the provision of gender-sensitive career counseling services to men (e.g., Fouad & Kantamneni, 2008). Previous work in these areas has associated traditional male gender roles with educational and career choices (e.g., Jome & Tokar, 1998) as well as career self-efficacy (e.g., Betz, 2008). However, to date, only Rochlen and O'Brien (2002) have investigated whether men consider using career counseling as a service for focusing on career or academic concerns rather than on personal issues. Furthermore, they demonstrated that men preferred a directive style of career counseling over a contextual approach. This finding presents career counselors with an interesting dilemma; vocational psychologists have argued that clients seeking career counseling are more satisfied when it is conducted from a holistic perspective (Swanson, 2002), yet research has indicated that men prefer a more directive style of career counseling that often focuses solely on the presenting concern (Rochlen & O' Brien, 2002).
Men also perceive more stigma (Rochlen, Mohr, & Hargrove, 1999) and have more negative attitudes related to seeking career counseling when compared with women (Fischer & Farina, 1995). The pervasiveness of this problem has led researchers to recommend that counselors present counseling services in alternative formats to increase men's engagement in the therapeutic process (Kiselica, 2001; Wester, 2008). However, the limited research on the potential efficacy of using alternative practices has been mixed. Rochlen, Blazina, and Raghunathan (2002), for example, found that using a career counseling brochure explaining the career counseling process to potential male clients increased their valuing of career counseling and decreased their stigma toward seeking career counseling, whereas a more gender-specific brochure that addressed male gender role stereotypes was not more effective than a gender-neutral brochure.
However, a significant concern lies in the impersonal nature of this approach because potential clients may not be actively engaged in the counseling process via a brochure. Furthermore, brochures are unlikely to generate the cognitive effort required to centrally produce attitude change (e.g., Elaboration Likelihood Model; Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). A more appropriate method, therefore, might be one that engages active cognition via the offering of more personalized information regarding what one might expect in career counseling services (Addis & Mahalik, 2003; Wester & Lyubelsky, 2005).
Role induction is a specific method that may be helpful in accomplishing these goals (Connors, Walitzer, & Dermen, 2002; Whitaker, Phillips, & Tokar, 2004). Connors et al. (2002) found that role induction can be used to describe the counseling process, the rationale for counseling, and provide examples of therapist and client behaviors. This includes educating clients about the appropriateness of addressing both career and noncareer concerns in counseling (Niles, Anderson, & Cover, 2000) and assisting them in recognizing the association between career issues and other issues in their lives (Swanson, 2002).
No published research thus tar has investigated the applicability of role induction specific to men's resistance to help seeking. However, research has examined the use of role induction in influencing students' perceptions of the career counseling process. Katz et al. (2004) demonstrated positive outcomes related to role induction, including higher attendance at counseling sessions and increased satisfaction with treatment. Like the findings of Rochlen and O'Brien (2002), results for a Fouad et al. (2007) study indicated that men who were exposed to a holistic role induction reported less valuing of and greater stigma attached to career counseling. Although Fouad et al.'s study provides an initial investigation of role induction in changing attitudes toward career counseling, further research needs to investigate the utility of more thorough role inductions to educate clients on the process of career counseling.
The purpose of the current study was to examine how role induction affects men's perceptions of career counseling. Two separate role inductions were created; one discussed the holistic process of career counseling and another discussed the holistic process of career counseling while also addressing socialized male reluctance to engage in help seeking. By using both of these conditions and a control group, we hoped to experimentally address three questions. First, does a role induction that describes the holistic career counseling process increase positive attitudes toward seeking career counseling and professional help when compared with a control group? We hypothesized that, consistent with the findings of Rochlen et al. (2002), role induction would indeed have such an effect. Second, does a role induction that describes the holistic career counseling process and overtly addresses male stereotypes related to help seeking increase positive attitudes toward seeking career counseling and professional help when compared with a control group? This has yet to be addressed in the extant literature on role induction. We hypothesized that a combined role induction process would produce more positive attitudes when compared with a control group. Finally, does a role induction that describes the holistic career counseling process and overtly addresses male stereotypes increase positive attitudes toward seeking career counseling and professional help when compared with a role induction that merely describes the holistic career counseling process? We hypothesized that the active, personalized nature of our role induction would produce more positive attitudes toward career counseling and seeking professional help when compared with a role induction that merely described the holistic nature of career counseling.
Furthermore, the literature on counseling men (e.g., Addis & Mahalik, 2003; O'Neil, 2008) has suggested that socialized male gender roles affect men's attitudes toward seeking psychological help. To be consistent with Rochlen and O'Brien's (2002) findings that demonstrated a predictive relationship between male gender role conflict and stigma associated with career counseling, in our study we also sought to examine the relationship between gender role conflict and men's attitudes toward career counseling and seeking professional help.
The literature on role induction is clear; effective role inductions incorporate a description of what the clients may expect during the counseling process (Connors, Walitzer, & Dermen, 2002) as well as stereotypes and stigmas associated with the act of seeking psychological help. To prepare for developing our role induction, we surveyed vocational psychology literature and developed a paragraph that described the holistic process of career counseling. This description was shared with prominent vocational psychologists with clinical and research expertise, who were asked to react to the description and offer their feedback regarding how well we had captured the essence of career counseling. Comments and suggestions were incorporated into the narrative. Seeking help was described according to the content of each script, and those descriptions were woven together to form a narrative. The narrative, in turn, was shared with influential individuals who had clinical and research expertise in the psychology of men. These individuals were asked to offer their feedback, which was incorporated into the narratives.
These narratives were used to develop two videotaped role inductions--one that described the process of career counseling from a holistic perspective and another that described this process while also addressing male gender-role-based stigma associated with the counseling process. The role induction describing holistic career counseling was approximately 5 minutes long and introduced clients to the process of career counseling, discussed expectations for both the client and counselor in the career counseling process, and described how career decisions could influence other aspects of one's life. Additionally, this role induction discussed how career counseling could be a tool in making successful life decisions. The gender-based role induction was approximately 6 minutes long and included the aforementioned description of holistic career counseling as well as a discussion of male stigmas and reluctance to seek help (e.g., "I understand that talking with someone you just met ... can be challenging" and "It can be difficult for some to ask for information and help"). This role induction refrained this reluctance to seek help in a positive manner, highlighting the benefits that career counseling may bring (e.g., career counseling can help you "take control, increase your information, and talk through potential career choices and decisions").
In the videotaped role inductions, an assistant professor is in an office setting, reciting the script to the camera as if the camera were a client. The two videotapes were presented to master's-level classes in community counseling and were rated using the Counselor Effectiveness Rating Scale (CERS; Atkinson & Carskaddon, 1975; see also Atkinson & Wampold, 1982). The CERS is a 14-item measure that is designed to assess counselors across four dimensions. We used the Expertness, Trustworthiness, and Attractiveness subscales to assess the degree to which our participants would believe they were watching a video done by an actual counselor. Coefficient alpha results for these subscales were .87, .91, and .94, respectively. Although the sample was small, results demonstrated that students who viewed the videotape believed that the counselor was an expert (n = 20, M = 1.1, SD = .39), trustworthy (n = 20, M= 1.2, SD= .54), and attractive (n = 20, M = 1.7, SD = .78). Students who reported that they knew the assistant professor were asked to exclude themselves from the study.
Design and Hypotheses
This study was a posttest-only control group design with three experimental conditions of the independent variable, that is, type of role induction: (a) a no-exposure control group, (b) a videotaped role induction discussing what was to be expected in holistic career counseling, and (c) a videotaped role induction discussing both what was to be expected in holistic career counseling and the male gender role stereotypes and stigmas associated with seeking psychological help. A priori power analysis determined that 50 participants per cell were sufficient to detect small effects.
Two hundred sixty-eight male undergraduate students participated in this study. Students were recruited from two large midwestern universities. E-mails were sent to 15,000 individuals soliciting their participation in a research study related to career development. Participants were also recruited from undergraduate psychology and architecture courses. One hundred fifty-one participants self-identified as White/European American, seven as African American, eight as Asian American/Pacific Islander, four as Hispanic/Latino, and three self-identified, as Native American; the remaining participants did not identify their racial/ethnic background. Participants' ages ranged from 18 to 55 years (M = 22.63, SD = 5.84). Regarding student status, 68 (25.4%) students self-identified as freshmen, 43 self-identified as sophomores (16.0%), 43 self-identified as juniors (16.0%), 78 self-identified as seniors (29.1%), 30 self-identified as other (11.2%), and six students did not respond to this question (0.03%). Participants were entered into a raffle for two $25 gift cards.
Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help. We measured participants' attitudes toward seeking professional help with the Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help scale (ATSPH; Fischer & Farina, 1995). We used a shortened 10-item revision of the original 29-item measure (Fischer & Turner, 1970). Items were rated from 1 (disagree) to 4 (agree), with five items reverse scored so that higher scores reflected more positive attitudes. A sample item is "If I believed I was having a mental breakdown, my first inclination would be to get professional attention." The revised scale strongly correlated with the longer version (r = .87), suggesting that both versions assessed similar constructs (Fischer & Farina, 1995). The 1-month test-retest (r = .80) and the internal consistency reliabilities were also found to be adequate. For the sample used in this study, the ATSPH coefficient alpha was .80.
Gender role conflict. We measured gender role conflict using the Gender Role Conflict Scale (GRCS; O'Neil, Helms, Gable, David, & Wrights-man, 1986), which measures men's reactions to the inconsistent and unrealistic gender role expectations they face. The measure consists of 37 items that are divided among four subscales: Success, Power, and Competition (SPC; 13 items); Restrictive Emotionality (RE; 10 items); Restrictive Affectionate Behavior Between Men (RABBM; eight items); and Conflict Between Work and Family Relations (CBWFR; six items). Sample items include, "Moving up the career ladder is important to me" and "My needs to work or study keep me from my family and leisure more than I would like." Respondents rated their agreement with each item on a 6 point Likert scale (1 = strongly agree to 6 = strongly disagree). Specific items on the scale were reverse scored so that higher scores indicated greater degrees of conflict resulting from an overadherence to that specific aspect of the male role. For the sample used in this study, the SPC subscale had an alpha of .86, the RE subscale had an alpha of .87, the RABBM subscale had an alpha of .88, the CBWFR subscale had an alpha of .84, and the GRCS total score had an alpha of .91.
Attitudes Toward Career Counseling Scale. We measured participants' attitudes toward career counseling using the Attitudes Toward Career Counseling Scale (ATCCS; Rochlen et al., 1999). The ATCCS is a 16-item questionnaire that assesses attitudes toward career counseling. This scale consisted of two 8-item subscales: Value of Career Counseling (e.g., "Career counseling is a valuable resource in making a career choice") and Stigma Toward Career Counseling (e.g., "If I was seeing a career counselor, I would not want anyone to know about it"). Participants responded on a 6-point scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). Scale scores were calculated by summing item responses for the respective subscales, with high scores reflecting a strong sense of valuing of career counseling and a high degree of stigma attached to career counseling. Internal consistency estimates ranged from .80 to .90 over multiple studies for both the value and stigma subscales; additionally, a test-retest correlation of .80 was observed over a 3-week period for both subscales (Rochlen et al., 1999). In the current study, internal consistency estimates were .85 for the Value of Career Counseling subscale, .89 for the Stigma Toward Career Counseling subscale and .80 for the total scale.
Career Decision Scale. We measured participants' career certainty and indecision using the Career Decision Scale (CDS; Osipow, Carney, Winer, Yanico, & Koschier, 1987). The CDS consists of 19 items that are designed to identify high school and college students' career issues and concerns (Osipow & Winer, 1996; Osipow et al., 1987). The CDS consists of two subscales: the Certainty subscale and the Indecision subscale. Two items assessed participants' certainty in deciding a career and 16 items assessed educational and vocational indecision. Sample items included, "I have decided on a career and feel comfortable with it. I also know how to go about implementing my choice" and "Several careers have equal appeal to me. I'm having a difficult time deciding among them." Responses were made on a 6-point scale ranging from 1 (not at all like me) to 6 (exactly like me). Scale scores were calculated by summing the responses to each item for the respective subscales, with high scores on the Certainty subscale reflecting certainty for career choice and a high score on the Indecision subscale indicating career indecision. Osipow et al. reported CDS test-retest correlation of .90 and .82 in two samples of college students. In the current study, internal consistency estimates were .80 for the Certainty subscale, .88 for the Indecision subscale, and .79 for the total scale.
Male undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory psychology course at a large midwestern university were invited to participate in the study. In addition, an e-mail distribution list was created and included the e-mail addresses of every male undergraduate student at a second large midwestern university. The resulting list of more than 15,000 e-mail addresses was subdivided into random samples of 400, and e-mail contacts were sent inviting participation in the study via a website link. Each random sample block was preassigned to a role induction condition before participant contact. Individuals willing to participate accessed the website and were directed to an informed consent letter. This process continued until we had e-mailed the entire sample.
Participants who provided consent were directed to an embedded video that introduced the research and thanked them for their willingness to participate. After participants watched the video, they were directed to a demographic questionnaire and a measure of male gender role conflict. Gender role conflict was measured before participants watched the role induction to determine preexisting individual differences that preceded being sensitized to gender issues. After completing these measures, participants viewed another embedded video of their assigned role induction, after which they were asked to complete the ATSPH and ATCCS. Control group participants did not view the role induction video; instead they were merely asked to complete the questionnaires.
Means and standard deviations for the variables investigated in this study are provided in Table 1. Before investigating our primary hypothesis, we sought to understand, using linear regression analyses, whether participants' preexisting career indecision and certainty predicted attitudes toward career counseling and attitudes toward seeking professional help. Results suggested that career indecision and career certainty did not predict valuing of career counseling or attitudes toward seeking professional help (p > .001, experiment-wise error rate); however, alter controlling for career certainty, career indecision predicted an increase in stigma toward career counseling, t(240) = 3.06, p = .002, [beta] = 0.238), suggesting that career indecision should be examined as a covariate in the analysis.
TABLE 1 Means, Standard Deviations, and Sample Size for Study Variables by Type of Role Induction Holistic Role Holistic and Male-Focused Role Induction Induction Scale and Subscale M SD n M SD n ATSPH 25.01 4.89 78 24.77 4.04 57 ATCCS Value 30.40 6.05 78 31.72 4.94 57 Stigma 17.40 6.00 78 17.72 5.84 57 CDS Certainty 5.48 1.84 84 5.30 1.87 66 Indecision 44.50 7.03 94 45.86 8.74 66 GRCS RE 26.67 7.04 85 27.91 6.80 66 SPC 43.84 7.05 85 42.79 9.74 66 RABBM 21.29 6.44 85 22.74 6.73 66 CBWFR 18.91 5.02 85 18.24 4.96 66 No Role Induction Control Group Total Scale and Subscale M SD n M SD n ATSPH 24.00 5.82 84 24.56 5.07 219 ATCCS Value 27.48 6.71 84 29.62 6.28 219 Stigma 17.35 6.76 84 17.46 6.24 219 CDS Certainty 5.74 1.88 93 5.53 1.87 253 Indecision 41.19 6.75 93 43.64 7.64 253 GRCS RE 26.37 8.17 89 26.90 7.42 240 SPC 41.88 8.81 89 42.82 8.52 240 RABBM 20.58 6.02 89 21.43 6.40 240 CBWFR 18.96 5.29 89 18.74 5.09 240 Note. Unequal sample sizes are because of missing data. ATSPH = Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help scale; ATCCS = Attitudes Toward Career Counseling Scale; Value = ATCCS Value of Career Counseling subscale; Stigma = ATCCS Stigma Toward Career Counseling subscale; CDS = Career Decision Scale; GRCS = Gender Role Conflict Scale; RE = GRCS Restrictive Emotionality subscale; SPC = GRCS Success, Power, and Competition subscale; RABBM = GRCS Restrictive Affectionate Behavior Between Men subscale; CBWFR = GRCS Conflict Between Work and Family Relations subscale.
We also sought to understand whether participants' gender role conflict predicted attitudes toward career counseling and attitudes toward seeking professional help. When subscales of the GRCS were analyzed concurrently using a linear regression analysis, RE, RABBM, and CBWFR did not predict valuing of career counseling, attitudes toward seeking professional help, or stigma, associated with career counseling (all p > .05). SPC subscale sores did not predict valuing of career counseling or attitudes toward seeking professional help (p > .05), but they did predict stigma associated with career counseling (p < .001). Thus, the four GRCS subscales (with the exception of SPC) were not indicated as covariates in the analysis; however, given the one significant predictor, GRCS as a covariate was explored empirically.
We hypothesized that participants who viewed a role induction that was designed to address holistic career counseling would report lower levels of stigma toward career counseling, greater value associated with career counseling, and more positive attitudes toward seeking professional help compared with participants who did not view the role induction. Additionally, we hypothesized that participants who viewed a role induction that addressed both holistic career counseling and male gender role socialization would report less stigma toward career counseling, greater value associated with career counseling, and more positive attitudes seeking professional help than either participants (a) who viewed the role induction with only holistic career counseling elements or (b) who had no role induction at all. Specifically, we believed that both the holistic career counseling and male gender role socialization elements of role induction would independently and additively improve perceptions toward career counseling. Hypotheses were tested using a multivariate analysis of variance and subsequent Bonferroni-corrected planned comparison analyses to examine whether value associated with career counseling, stigma toward career counseling, and attitudes toward seeking professional help varied by the type of role induction viewed.
The type of role induction viewed significantly affected the value associated with career counseling reported by the participant, F(2, 232) = 10.03, p < .001, [eta] = 0.08. A series of Bonferroni-corrected planned comparisons were performed to investigate mean differences. Results indicated a small effect for role induction; participants who viewed the role induction that included both the holistic career counseling and socialized male gender role stereotypes (M= 31.70, 5D = 5.02) attributed more value to career counseling than those who had not viewed role induction at all, M = 27 .48, SD = 6.81, p < .001. Additionally, participants who viewed a role induction that included only holistic career counseling elements without addressing male gender role socialization (M = 30.40, SD = 6.14) rated the value of career counseling significantly higher than those who did not view a role induction at all (p = .005). However, no difference in the value associated with career counseling was found for participants who viewed a role induction with both elements of male gender role socialization and holistic career counseling versus a role induction addressing only holistic career counseling (p = .61). Type of role induction did not significantly affect stigma associated with career counseling or attitudes toward seeking professional help (see Table 2 for relevant statistics). Separate multivariate analyses of covariance were performed to examine whether results differed after controlling for the potentially confounding effect of gender role conflict and career certainty and indecision. As can be seen in Table 2, results similar to the primary analysis were found regardless of whether gender role conflict or career certainty and indecision were used as covariates.
TABLE 2 Results From the MANOVA and MANCOVA for Type of Role Induction on Value Toward Career Counseling, Stigma Related to Career Counseling, and Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Help Variable F df [[eta].sup.2] MANOVA Attitudes toward seeking 0.81 2, 232 0.01 professional help Value toward career counseling 10.03 *** 2, 232 0.08 Stigma related to career 0.01 2, 232 0.00 counseling MANCOVA controlling for gender role conflict Attitudes toward seeking 0.62 2, 209 0.01 professional help Value toward career counseling 10.35 *** 2, 209 0.09 Stigma related to career 0.03 2, 209 0.00 counseling MANCOVA controlling for career indecision Attitudes toward seeking 1.17 2, 225 0.01 professional help Value toward career counseling 7.38 *** 2, 225 0.06 Stigma related to career 0.17 2, 225 0.00 counseling Note. MANOVA = multivariate analysis of variance; MANCOVA = multivariate analysis of covariance. *** p [less than or equal to] .001.
The purpose of the current study was to examine how two types of role induction--a role induction reviewing the holistic nature of career counseling and a role induction reviewing the holistic nature of career counseling and male gender role socialization--affect men's perceptions of career counseling. We hypothesized that the active nature of a role induction would allow men to become more comfortable with career counseling (e.g., see Petty & Cacioppo, 1986, for a review), even when discussed from a holistic perspective. Results demonstrated that the presentation of a role induction discussing the holistic nature of career counseling significantly influenced men's perceptions of career counseling, although the effect size was small. Men who viewed a role induction reported greater levels of perceived value of career counseling when compared with individuals who were not exposed to a role induction. However, contrary to the hypotheses, a role induction with holistic and male gender role specific content did not provide additive benefits in increasing the value male college students placed on career counseling. Our findings regarding the use of holistic role induction complement existing literature on how best to overcome men's socialized reluctance to seek out psychological services with a specific application to career counseling services. However, at this time, it is unclear whether role induction would improve perceived value of career counseling for both male and female students. Regardless, given the reluctance of men to seek a range of counseling interventions, this finding demonstrates that role induction is particularly effective in increasing perceived value of career counseling by demystifying the counseling process.
At first glance, the results appear to be congruent with existing research on related methods of" addressing men's perception of career counseling. Rochlen et al. (2002), for example, demonstrated that a brochure describing the process of career counseling led men to perceive more value in the process and attach less stigma to seeking career counseling. We also demonstrated that presenting a description of career counseling led men to see more value in the process. Our findings, however, appear to differ from those of Rochlen and O'Brien (2002), who demonstrated that men preferred career counseling presented as structured and goal oriented as opposed to exploratory and insight oriented. Although our study did not investigate a role induction discussing career counseling from a structured, narrow perspective, our findings suggest that providing male clients with a description of the holistic career counseling process may help to overcome their socialized preference for more structured interventions. Indeed, our results suggest that men will see value in holistic career counseling when it is described in a personalized, videotaped manner, despite the fact that it contradicts their socialized male gender role avoidance of psychotherapy. This is particularly important because research has found that men who experience high gender role conflict may enter counseling with minimal expectations about engaging in the counseling process and expect the counselor to be an expert and take on a role that is directive (Schaub & Williams, 2007).
It appears, therefore, that a well-designed role induction describing career counseling from a holistic perspective is an effective intervention that is well-suited for men. A thorough role induction delivered early in counseling, perhaps as a part of the informed consent process, may offer clients personalized information regarding what can be expected in career counseling services. This activity may include explanations of the rationale of career counseling, examples of therapist and client behaviors, as well as an understanding that it is perfectly appropriate to address both career and noncareer concerns in counseling depending upon the client's needs and concerns. An appropriate role induction may also eliminate some of the threat men may perceive when they are placed in a position of dependence and vulnerability, such as during counseling (e.g., Vogel & Wester, 2003). It is important to note that this is among the first studies to examine the effectiveness of role induction in career counseling, and further research is needed to examine the effectiveness of role induction as a method to introduce holistic career counseling to male clients.
It is interesting that our efforts had no effect on general attitudes toward seeking professional help, which is logical given that the role induction was specifically targeted to the practice of career counseling, as opposed to either help seeking or psychotherapy in general. Additionally, men may define career counseling as a different activity than more traditional approaches to help-seeking behavior (i.e., psychotherapy), despite the holistic approach presented in our role induction. Furthermore, we failed to find an added benefit of a role induction including holistic and socialized male gender role information over a holistic role induction with regard to valuing of career counseling. There are three potential explanations for this finding. First, it may be that this role induction was not extensive enough to overcome a lifetime of socialized distrust of counseling. Second, it may be that the masculinity script developed from the extant literature on men and masculinity (e.g., Mahalik, Good, & Englar-Carson, 2003) was not salient for our participants to recognize and readily identify as being similar to their own experiences. Finally, men may respond to a gender-nonspecific holistic role induction; it may be that if a man sees utility in the counseling process, elements threatening to male gender role socialization are not as salient.
The extant literature on male gender role conflict (e.g., O'Neil, 2008) has suggested that higher levels of gender role conflict would predict both stigma and value associated with career counseling as well as a reluctance to seek professional help. In the current study, only SPC subscale scores showed this effect; men who perceived the attainment of power and success as critical to their identities and had a preference for achieving goals via competition viewed career counseling as more stigmatizing. This finding could indicate variation on what Good and Wood (1995) called doable jeopardy: men who attach greater importance to success are far more likely to see their career as a vehicle for that success, while concurrently attaching stigma to and avoiding career counseling (e.g., Addis & Mahalik, 2003; Vogel & Wester, 2003).
In examining the intersection between gender role conflict and expectations of counseling, researchers are beginning to better understand how socialized experiences may affect men differently. However, three main limitations to this study exist. First, the holistic role induction was implemented through a videotaped segment. Given that most clinicians use role induction as a part of rapport building early in the session, results may have differed if the role induction were delivered in person by a counselor. Future research should consider using trained clinicians to examine a standardized holistic role induction in the context of a relationship. Second, gender role conflict was measured before participants viewed the role induction. This may have sensitized participants to gender issues before they viewed the intervention, which in turn could have influenced their responses. Future investigations may want to assess for gender role conflict after providing a role induction. Third, the use of college students prevents far-reaching comments regarding the use of role inductions in career counseling with middle-aged and older men. Given the developmental changes often faced by older men, future research should consider replicating our work with men of differing age groups.
In conclusion, our findings suggest that role induction is a viable method for increasing men's positive perceptions of career counseling. Given the importance of career to the identity of many men (Heppner & Heppner, 2001) and the stigma that is often attached to receiving counseling services (Rochlen et al., 1999), role induction can be an effective method for increasing the help-seeking behavior of men, a population that has well-documented resistance to seeking professional help. In addition, role induction can adequately prepare men for a holistic perspective of career counseling, one that integrates both career and personal concerns and provides a contextualized perspective of career development. This may be particularly important for men who are experiencing difficulties in other areas of their lives; a role induction that openly addresses the holistic nature of career counseling may encourage clients to express personal concerns more freely than they may have otherwise thought was appropriate.
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Neeta Kantamneni, Heidi Fowell Christianson, Melissa Kraemer Smothers, and Stephen R. Wester, Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Neeta Kantamneni is now at Educational Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Heidi Fowell Christianson is now at Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine & Clinical Cancer Center, Medical College of Wisconsin; Melissa Kraemer Smothers is now at Bedford. VA Medical center, Bedford, Massachusetts. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Neeta Kantamneni, Educational Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 42 Teachers College Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588 (e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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|Author:||Kantamneni, Neeta; Christianson, Heidi Fowell; Smothers, Melissa Kraemer; Wester, Stephen R.|
|Publication:||Career Development Quarterly|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2011|
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