Practice and research in career counseling and development--2004.
The annual review organizes the past year's professional career literature and presents a comprehensive summary of works from which the career researcher and practitioner can learn. We admire those who have gone before us in undertaking this project. Not until we were well into it did we realize what a responsibility it is and how overwhelming a task! Our challenge, as it has been for our predecessors, was to allow significant themes as well as unique voices to emerge from the literature and to summarize them in a concise manner that is meaningful for career researchers and practitioners alike. Because the topic of career counseling and development is addressed by many disciplines similar to our own, it is impossible to include every published work that might inform practice. Our search was not exhaustive. To be succinct means that some arbitrary decisions were made about what to include in the discussions that follow. For example, we have not included books, monographs, dissertations, or online articles that appeared in 2004. Ultimately, we chose to include in this review 173 articles published in refereed professional journals in 2004. We conducted a hand search and read articles published in the major American career journals: The Career Development Quarterly, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Journal of Career Development, Journal of Career Assessment, and Journal of Employment Counseling.
We then conducted a keyword search on all American Counseling Association (ACA) journals and on selected American Psychological Association (APA) journals. Career-related articles from the Journal of Counseling & Development, Counselor Education and Supervision, Professional School Counseling, Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, Journal of Counseling Psychology, The Counseling Psychologist, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, Journal of College Counseling, Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, and Psychological Reports were included in this review.
Next, we conducted a literature search using the same career-related keywords in other social science fields. This produced applicable refereed journal articles from the Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association; Community, Work & Family; Journal of Family Issues; Sex Roles: A Journal of Research; Directions for Student Services; College Student Journal; Research in Education; American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation; and Journal of Rehabilitation.
As counselor educators, we are aware of an increased interest in career counseling in organizational settings and in career coaching. Thus, we decided to also include some relevant career-related articles from Human Resource Management Review, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Human Relations, and Organizational Dynamics.
The year 2004 appears to be a watershed year for articles in the aforementioned journals published by and about populations outside of the United States. This indicates to us that we do, indeed, live in a global community. We thus actively sought to identify career-related contributions in international refereed journals. These included International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, Career Development International, Australian Journal of Career Development, Canadian Journal of Counselling, International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, Japanese Journal of Developmental Psychology, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal, Journal of Youth Studies, and Education + Training.
The 2004 career counseling and development review is organized into four broad areas: (a) professional issues, (b) career theory and concepts, (c) career interventions and practice, and (d) career assessment and technology. Much like many previous reviewers, we recognize that career assessment and technology can be considered as kinds of interventions but believe that these activities are significant enough to warrant a separate category. We considered including a fifth area devoted to career development, as many of our predecessors have done. However, the continuing emergence of constructivism as a major force in the career field calls normative developmental assumptions into question (see Young & Collin, b). Herr (2001) argued that the term career development implies two categories--one that conceptualizes career behaviors across the life span (i.e., career theory and concepts) and one that assists career practitioners with interventions to facilitate clients' career behaviors (i.e., career interventions and practice, assessment, and technology). In addition, in our opinion, many career development concepts speak to professional issues directly because they address the enhancement of service to various populations. With this in mind, we opted to subsume career development at various life stages (children, adolescents, college students, and adults) within the four broad areas.
We made a similar decision about diversity (race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status [SES]). In 2004, we found a move toward contextual research and practice; a preponderance of literature concerns diverse populations rather than populations in general without attention to diversity. We see this as a positive trend and, therefore, chose to include this literature within the four broad areas. In a similar way, regarding international issues, we chose to incorporate literature from the international community within each of the four areas rather than to set it aside as an area in itself. This acknowledges the globalization of career counseling and development. We believe the time has come to embed diverse voices into the career literature rather than continue to marginalize them as exceptions to the voice of mainstream career counseling and development.
Space limitations precluded the possibility of discussing every work that we reviewed. We chose to include in this discussion those articles that most inform practice or make a contribution to the career literature. In organizing this review, it was clear to us that many articles could have been presented in more than one area. For example, an article might have provided information about career theory as well as assessment and interventions. We chose, for the most part, to discuss each article in only one area, with some few exceptions. By necessity this means that some arbitrary decisions were made based on where we believed the greatest contribution to the literature might be or, in some cases, where the article best fit with other similar articles.
Unlike published works in the year 2003, which focused on advocacy as a primary professional issue, in 2004 we did not find any single outstanding article focusing on a sole professional issue. However, implications of a study by McGlothlin and Davis, reported in Counselor Education and Supervision, citing the relative importance of the Council for Accreditation of College and Related Educational Programs(CACREP) 2001 Standards, make it urgent that professional career counselors continue the call for advocacy made by Dagley and Salter in their review of the literature last December. The purpose of the McGlothlin and Davis study was to explore and compare the perceptions of counselor educators, mental health counselors, and school counselors regarding the importance of the verbatim standards in each of the eight core areas as they relate to counseling practice. Out of a total random survey sample of 1,022 professional counselors, 641 respondents participated. Every state was represented in a sample that was largely Caucasian (89%), with the remainder consisting of African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. Only 90 participants were faculty; the rest were professional counselors evenly split between persons who had graduated from CACREP-accredited programs and those who had not. Of the eight core areas, career development was perceived second to last in importance, preceded immediately by assessment, followed only by research and program evaluation.
The findings of the McGlothlin and Davis study are disturbing at best. Are counselor educators out of touch with current needs of practitioners and the public? Are professional counselor generalists out of touch with current practice in career development? In fact, do most counselors even offer comprehensive counseling services that involve career development?
Some answers to these questions were found in the studies reported in this section. Although no single professional issue dominates the journals covered in this review, many outstanding studies lend clarity to the many issues that face career professionals today. Some articles dealt with standards of practice in other countries. An entire issue of Counselling and Psychotherapy was devoted to issues about the quality of counseling service in Great Britain, and articles dealing with various professional issues appeared in the International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance and in the Australian Journal of Career Development. These are discussed later in this section. However, in reading the many articles reviewed in this section, it was evident that a major professional issue is what kinds of career development programs are most helpful to various populations. The knowledge of what works, what does not work, and with whom it works is an important factor in determining not only what to do, but also who should be doing it. Students (K through graduate school), adults, young and older workers, and retirees are all served by career counselors. Within each of these groups are specific issues for professionals that the articles in this section have addressed.
Professional Issues Related to School-Age Children and Youth
In the United States, the career development of children has long been viewed as important to school curriculum. Today, career development is part of the National Standards of the American School Counselor Association (Campbell & Dahir, 1997). Developmental theorists including Donald Super (1957) and Linda Gottfredson (1981) have cited stages and tasks relative to childhood that have influenced career activities in schools. A 10-year longitudinal study (2nd through 12th grade) was conducted (Helwig) that examined career development in children. According to Gottfredson's (1981) theory, children's perceptions of self and their perceptions of occupational gender roles play a part in occupational selection. This may change as they mature. Two variables measured in the study were occupational aspirations and occupational expectations. Occupational aspirations of students were given a social value and a gender designation. The first of the nine digits of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles code was used to classify occupations and, according to Department of Labor data related to numbers of people of either gender engaged in an occupation and their respective earnings, occupations were classified as either male or female. Thus, when a child named an occupational aspiration, a gender role was assigned to it. Aspirations and expectations were measured and found to change over time. Parental involvement was also studied. Parents were the major influence on children's career aspirations through the 10th grade, but by the 12th grade, students reported that teachers' influence had more impact. As the students in the study grew older, many of their career aspirations changed from jobs in the professional, technical, and managerial category to those in sales, service, and processing. When many boys began to realize that they would not become professional athletes, salary expectations, although still high, became more realistic. Nevertheless, most interesting about this study of this White, largely suburban, middle-class sample is that when students were queried as to whether the school was helpful with career direction and in career preparation, they were only "slightly positive" (Helwig, p. 56) in their responses.
The focus of the Helwig study was student perceptions measured at 2-year intervals between the 2nd and 12th grades. It was not school curriculum nor was it practice. However, Helwig noted that the students in the study had no counselors in elementary school, and in high school the student counselor ratio was 400 to 1!
According to the 2004 literature, what worked for school-age children and youth were strong, theory-based programs offered over time. According to Schultheiss, theory-based social action programs enhanced academic achievement and later career enhancement for all elementary school students. Fusick and Bordeau emphasized that it has been of special importance for school counselors to find ways to reach out to African American students at risk of dropping out of school by means of programs that are multiculturally competent. Career and vocational exploration form part of such programs.
Legum and Hoare reported the effects of a 9-week career intervention that took place at a Title I school with students at risk of failure and dropout--primarily African American sixth and seventh graders. Pre- and postintervention career maturity and self-esteem measures were completed by both a control and an experimental group. Qualitative interviews were conducted with teachers for comparison purposes. Although not statistically significant, results indicated improvement in academic achievement and career maturity.
A fundamental study reported in The Career Development Quarterly (Akos, Konold, & Niles) approached career development activities for middle school students. This study explored the career readiness typology of 629 eighth-grade students using the Career Factors Inventory, "a tool that measures antecedents to career indecision" (p. 55). Current level of career readiness was determined by consideration of mean scores. However, to determine whether a career typology could be developed for eighth graders and whether sociodemographic factors influence typal membership, cluster analysis was used. Seven profile types emerged. They were (a) average information/high decision, 21.3%; (b) high information/average decision, 16.3%; (c) average information/average decision, 12.7%; (d) high information/low decision, 11.1%; (e) average information/low decision, 16.1%; (f) high information/very high decision; and (g) very low information/average decision, 12.5%. The investigators found that "profile types illustrate the importance of accounting for multivariate aspects of student career indecision" (Akos et al., p. 61). Akos et al. concluded that the use of profiles helped counselors design specific interventions. They noted that eighth graders are forced to make curricular decisions that may influence their career paths at a later time. The time frame in which students' must make curricular decisions does not coincide with the readiness level of some students. This observation illustrated the need for differential strategies on the part of counselors. Furthermore, it was noted that typal membership revealed very little variance on sociodemographic data. The authors recommended that school counselors pay attention to all students who appear to be disconnected from the school regardless of race, culture, or SES.
Ji, Lapan, and Tate measured the perceptions of eighth-grade boys and girls as to what they thought were the number and the effectiveness of men and women employed in various occupations. These were then compared with the students' levels of interest and self-efficacy for those occupations. Stronger self-efficacy and a higher level of interest accrued to both boys and girls for occupations that employed higher numbers of their own gender. The study addressed the need for career practitioners to work with adolescents to broaden their view of occupational choice. A related study by Turner, Steward, and Lapan examined family factors associated with sixth grader interest in math and science careers because math and science operate as critical filters to a variety of occupations. Using a social cognitive model with a sample of 318 sixth graders, the researchers found that math self-efficacy in young people was predicted by mother's and father's support for pursuing math and science careers. Family structure itself was a predictor of self-efficacy because children from single-parent homes reported less self-efficacy than did those from homes with two parents. Therefore, the authors argued that counselors should work with single-parent families to find other male and female role models to take the place of the missing parent.
A Canadian study by Bardick, Bernes, Magunsson, and Witko used the Comprehensive Needs Survey to assess 3,562 junior high school students in southern Alberta. Results indicated that junior high school students found career planning important, but they were most likely to rely on parents and friends for help rather than on school counselors. Students reported that they would like to have had more assistance in gaining information, choosing appropriate courses, and making career decisions. In a study of 348 students ages 14-18, Kniveton found that the greatest influence on choice of career was parents, followed by teachers.
Several more articles related to young people appeared in the literature. Wadsworth, Milsom, and Cocco called upon school counselors to provide career activities for students with mental retardation. In their article in Professional School Counseling, the authors suggested that such activities take place at the elementary, middle, and high school levels so that students could make meaningful choices as adults. Such activities should provide students with opportunities for success, focus on interests, promote career goals, elicit transferable occupational skills, assist with decision-making skills, and reframe occupational opportunities in a positive light. To examine their perceptions of the world of work, Cinamon and Gifsh conducted semistructured interviews with 16 mixed sex adolescents and young adults with mild mental retardation. Responses were categorized by teams into four domains: definitions of work, reasons for working, self-awareness, and knowledge about the world of work. Respondents indicated strong willingness to participate in the world of work. However, they were found to have had limited information about it. The authors stated that they thought that all four dimensions could be taught. They stressed that fostering strong self-awareness might assist the career development of individuals with mild mental retardation and suggested that training in this domain might improve the match between interest and occupation. They also recommended community and family involvement with training programs.
Beale and Jacobs wrote about the fact that the overwhelming majority of middle school boys would never achieve their dream of becoming professional athletes. The many occupations related to professional sports, other than that of the professional athlete, are largely unknown to students. Beale and Jacobs have suggested providing classroom career awareness activities designed to introduce sports-related occupations in order to broaden student interest in occupations connected with athletics.
Although parents have provided most of the advice that students receive about working, little could be found in the 2004 literature describing connections between home and school as related to career issues. Brewer and Landers conducted a longitudinal study that examined the impact of participation in the federally funded Talent Search program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. A total of 758 low-income students with the potential to be college graduates were culled from the Talent Search program and compared with 450 other persons who were eligible for, but who did not participate in, Talent Search services. Chi-square analysis demonstrated that those individuals who did participate proved more likely to enroll in postsecondary education than nonparticipating individuals. The report of results indicates that career development services have value for low-income students who have potential to be first-generation college graduates.
The International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance (Sweet) presented seminal information about the largest coordinated set of international reviews of national career guidance policies of 37 countries. Sweet stated that three studies using different methodologies but a common analytical framework constituted the largest set of data on guidance policies and programs ever collected. Most of the countries that participated were European, but there were participants from all other parts of the world. Data collected provided an extensive resource.
Pinquart, Juang, and Silbereisen studied change in the career decisions of adolescents facing German unification--1991 to 1995--and concluded that high preunification self-efficacy beliefs, grades, and having parents who were university graduates increased the probability of students changing from non-college-bound vocational training to university studies. Belief in one's capabilities, a high level of academic ability, and well-educated parents were important factors that influenced positive career reorientation in times of social change.
Shepard studied rural young women in southern British Columbia. Fifteen young women, ages 17 to 19 years, who were transitioning from high school to college were selected to participate in the study, which was conducted to ascertain how rural young women perceive themselves, understand their perceptions of the restraining and enhancing aspects of their rural communities, and explore their hopes and fears for the future. Eight of the participants were long-term residents; 7 were Euro-Canadians, and 1 was Asian Canadian. The semistructured taped interviews yielded both positive and negative comments about rural life. There was a lack of well-constructed future plans. Shepard suggested that relational career counseling take place, incorporating career and personal domains. She further stated that for rural female high school students, group counseling could provide a supportive forum where young women could personalize their life-career selves, gain information about balancing family and career roles, and decide about geographic mobility.
A different, but similar study was conducted related to the needs of young college-educated women in Taiwan. Using hermeneutic phenomenology as the research method, Lien explored the women's lived experience with regard for their hoped-for experiences and expectations. Women who were college graduates and returned home to find that the only jobs open were jobs as clerks demonstrated a need for career development that counselors should heed.
The aftermath of the attack against the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001, distanced many Muslim girls from career education that clearly embodied Western values. For centuries, Islam provided a blueprint for living to which Muslim women adhered. Irving and Barker stated that career education for Muslim girls must take place within the framework of their values and cultural mores. They therefore suggested that Muslim families and the Muslim community be included in any development of career education programs. They recommended that schools consider using a career education packet that was developed by Irving, Barker, Jones, and Woolmer (2002) and based on the research of Parker-Jenkins, Hartas, Irving, and Barker (1999) and Irving, Barker, Parker-Jenkins, and Hartas (2000). Muslim girls were involved in the development of the packet, which took culture, religion, and race into consideration. The authors warned that a high degree of sensitivity and collaboration among staff were necessary to implement the culturally sensitive program.
Professional Issues Related to Adulthood
Life-span issues of adulthood provide many avenues for career counselors to explore, but as with children, the discovery of theory-based best practices seemed to offer some answers. Preparing for the world of work, finding work, transitioning in job, losing work, retiring, starting postretirement careers, and adjusting to changed or unique circumstances constitute the issues related to adults presented in this section.
Zekeri investigated the competencies and skills offered in the standard college curriculum by asking students which of these were relevant to improving their situations in the workplace. Communication skills, both oral and written, were cited, along with motivating and managing others and leader-ship skills. Boone, van Olffen, and Roijakkers found that students' choices of major/college curriculum leading to occupation can be predicted by personality and that personality predicted differing levels of rational choice. For students who made the more rational choices, closer matches existed between personality and choice. Quimby and O'Brien found that, in a sample of nontraditional college women who were at risk for dropping out of school, perceived social support and perceived barriers accounted for variance in student career decision-making self-efficacy and in career decision making itself. Quimby and O'Brien suggested that career counselors assess both barriers and supports in instituting means to help students overcome the barriers (p. 334). Karunanayake and Nauta examined race as related to career role models and found that college students tend to select members of their own race as career role models. The authors suggested that all students be introduced to a variety of role models. According to the literature, how to broaden role models, enhance support, and help students see the value of study choices that will assist them in broadening their people skills are issues for career counselors of college-age students.
Many job-related issues have been identified in the career counseling literature published in 2004. Wood claimed that both college graduates and employers are dissatisfied with the job competencies of the graduates. He stated that students must be better prepared for the work world and presented a distance education model designed to help students achieve a more successful transition from college to work. Ebberwein, Krieshok, Ulven, and Prosser have also considered adult career transition. They found that even when jobs were seemingly secure, persons who could anticipate career change realistically and deal with change in a planned manner were able to perceive themselves as able to cope better with change than those who ignored possible change in their work situation. The findings from this qualitative study have important implications for human resource workers and counselors who work within corporations. It might be economically beneficial and psychologically sound practice for corporations to prepare for possible change by placing employees, as a matter of course, in proactive counseling-type programs or workshops designed to help workers recognize their transferable skills, as well as interests, achievements, and values.
Amundson, Borgen, Jordan, and Erlebach further studied the issues of downsizing by conducting interviews with 31 workers from several organizations, both public and private. A critical incident technique was used to analyze and organize reported positive and negative responses to questions about adjustment to change in the organization. Eleven themes emerged and were grouped into three transition phases: moving into, moving through, and moving on. These represented the three stages in the transition process: beginning, middle, and end. It was found that when survivors could understand an organization's reasons for restructuring and the restructuring itself and are allowed some input into this process, they were reassured. They were frustrated, however, when their input was not heard or heeded. During the moving on phase, survivors found it helpful when leaders and supervisors took on the roles of providing support and giving direction through open communication, however difficult this might be. Also during the moving on phase, survivors had to learn to live and work within a restructured organization. Reactions of grief over the loss of employees no longer working at an organization were not uncommon.
Brewington, Nassar-McMillan, Flowers, and Furr found that job loss grief is positively correlated with loss of income and expectations for reemployment. In some cases, it was negatively correlated with duration of employment.
Vinton narrated her personal experience of finding a job that she thought perfect for her, only to be turned down for it. She described her emotions, with the reminder that for her, as it was for many, the rational mode of job finding was all that there was to the individual.
Many adults fall into a category of clients that the profession calls special populations. Caporoso and Kiselica reported on the barriers experienced by individuals diagnosed with severe mental illness and suggested a developmental career counseling approach for them. Tansey, Mizelle, and Ferrin offered a model for identifying and managing work-related stress in persons with disabilities. Alleyne reported the findings of a study that sought to understand the experience of being Black in the workplace and the impact of that experience on the Black worker in the United Kingdom. Their study found that these Black workers appeared to be experiencing significantly more negative and damaging effects of stress and trauma than were White workers. Alleyne described these experiences in the context of workplace oppression and differentiated them from other kinds of workplace conflicts. This author conducted semistructured interviews related to experiences of the Black participants from three different work sites. According to Alleyne, race was not the overt cause of workplace oppression. Nevertheless, subtle responses such as refusing to make proper eye contact, the absence of pleasantries that would normally be accorded to White colleagues, silence when a supportive comment would be normally expected, and the overuse of words such as scary, angry, and aggressive when referring to Black people did cause conflict. Although Alleyne admitted that her study was of a small sample, she nevertheless believed it sufficient enough to have suggested that a deep understanding of trauma as experienced by Black people is necessary for the successful management of workplace oppression, and she challenged the profession to further study and work to address this issue.
Myers and Harper wrote that older Americans are underserved and sometimes unnoticed by the counseling field because counselors have known so little about how to work with them. They reviewed literature and produced a best practices article in which they reported not only best practices but also recommendations for counselor education and research.
The Issue of the Relationship Between Counseling Psychology and School Counseling
In 2004, The Counseling Psychologist published an issue that dealt with the relationship between school counseling and counseling psychology. The issue is of interest to professionals in career counseling and development because so many career counselors are counseling psychologists and in addition to belonging to the National Career Development Association (NCDA) also belong to the Division of Counseling Psychology of APA. Romano and Kachgal argued that counseling psychology, because of its strong commitment to career psychology, counselor training, and many of the issues related to present-day counseling in the schools, should have a strong partnership with school counseling. The authors cited the common foundation of both disciplines and indicated that counseling psychologists have much to offer school counselors. Galassi and Akos agreed that the argument sounded good but cited a variety of barriers to such a partnership, including turf wars, and suggested beginning the alliance with a shared conceptual framework that crosses both disciplines. Gysbers focused on why possible partnerships may be negated or overlooked and claimed that one reason may be lack of awareness. He discussed the challenges faced by school counselors and made suggestions that could lead to forging partnerships that might help counselors with the challenges that they face. Mark Pope, past president of NCDA and ACA and an active member of the Division of Counseling Psychology, covered the field by offering a historical, political, and organizational analysis of counseling psychology's involvement in school counseling. He discussed the issues of training and professional identity that are divisive but also identified aspects of collaboration that could take place. Reactions came from Russell Sabella, past president of the American School Counselor Association, who high-lighted significant differences in the two professions, whereas Susan Whiston found a common denominator between them. Reactions also come from Christine Yeh, who broadened the topic by introducing the issue of multiculturalism, and by Lichtenberg and Goodyear, who questioned the motives and sincerity of counseling psychology in embracing school counselors in partnership. This is a must-read special issue because the discussion of partnership is an issue whose time has come, even if the time has not yet come for the actual partnership in question. An allied article by Bedi was published in the Journal of Employment Counseling. This piece suggested a pathway to bring career counseling back into what he calls the mainstream of counseling psychology. Should we suggest publishing an article about bringing counseling psychology back into the mainstream of career development? With its new emphasis on wellness, the field of psychology might be catching up with the profession of counseling.
Issues of Professional Training, Professional Development, and Practice
Published articles related to professional training, professional development, and practice for career counselors in 2004 came from other countries as well as from the United States. Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal published an article that described the Association for Counselling at Work (ACW; Volume 15, Issue 2, p. 20). The article described how ACW has served as a forum and as a place for learning new skills for counselors who have served in workplace settings or who have been interested in health at work. In another issue (3) of the same journal, Patrick provided information about placement opportunities for counselors in Great Britain and also clarified the necessity for counselors to abide by their ethical code. Griffin (Issue 7) described the Professional Conduct Department of the British Association for Counselling and Therapy (BACP), including work that is done when a case comes before that group. Unlike the United States, where accrediting has been given to an arms length body that is not affiliated with a professional organization, in Great Britain accrediting has been granted individuals by BACP (Dansey & Evans).
Watts and Sultana discussed career development policies in 27 countries. McIlveen illustrated a counselor internship program in Australia. The relationship between career counseling success and self-efficacy in Italy was reported by Soresi, Nota, and Lent. They found that counselor self-efficacy varies with training and reported that those counselors who participated in a social cognitive/learning theory-based course scored higher in self-efficacy than those who did not.
The articles presented demonstrate that the professional practice of career counseling has been of growing international interest. Within the United States, Black, Suarez, and Medina suggested that although counseling programs promote the value of mentoring, there has been a gap between the promotion of mentoring and the practice of it. The authors recommended strategies to close the gap.
Last, a special issue on the subject of careers in academe appeared in the April issue of the Journal of Vocational Behavior (Baruch & Hall, b). Graduates of counselor education programs who wish to obtain positions teaching career counseling in a university setting may be interested in that issue.
Professional Issues: Summary and Conclusion
Career counseling and development have not been perceived as among the most important topics within the CACREP core, and this continues to be true. It seems as though many counselor educators and practitioners remain unaware of the significance of work in human life and human well-being. Although career development is integral to life planning, it remains questionable whether the majority of practicing counselors have integrated it into their work with clients.
Although career development is recognized as integral to the school curriculum, there is little evidence that it is actually a part of that curriculum. The programs that exist seem to be "stand alone programs" and not necessarily theory based. Studies have identified needs of special populations including rural groups, at-risk groups, and groups of youth with various disabilities. However, there is scant report of special programs designed to assist these groups, nor of effective strategies that work with them.
Issues that relate to work and working are plentiful. Conflict at work, downsizing, and inability to decide what to do or how to find work are some of them. It seems that we know what works with these groups, and we continue to learn about employment situations. Largely missing from this year's literature is the whole area of career development as it relates to aging and older persons. Because the members of our society are aging and longevity is increasing, this seems to be an area that requires further study.
The relationship between counseling psychology and school counseling is interesting because career counselors have a foot in each camp. It raises the question of how career issues and mental health issues interconnect. Also to be considered is how all of the wellness professions can best interact to the benefit of the populations that they serve.
Last, other countries are increasingly discussing professionalism in the literature. They are also presenting studies related to how they work with client issues. In the global community in which we now live, it seems essential that counselors in the United States learn what is happening elsewhere. This kind of knowing will help us with our own multicultural and diversity issues and make us conversant with the growing world community of career counseling professionals.
Career Theory and Concepts
Several major conceptual themes emerged in this year's review. Studies associated with traditional theories represented a smaller proportion of the literature than they have in other years. Among the traditional theories, person-environment fit and cognitive/social learning theories dominated research studies. The Career Development Quarterly (Vol. 52, No. 4) featured the theory of self-efficacy. Developmental theories continued to be an area of interest, although less so than in previous years. A variety of other traditional theories such as career decision making were also represented. Newer theories, most notably the postmodern theories of contextualism and constructivism/constructionist, made up a large portion of studies and were the focal point of special issues. Contextualism received attention and work/life/family issues predominated. Family of origin and career development was the topic of interest in the July issue of the Counseling Psychologist (Vol. 32, No. 4). A majority of studies emphasized the significance of issues of diversity such as gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, and international scholars contributed to the body of knowledge in greater numbers than in previous years. Constructivist theories garnered considerable attention. The Journal of Vocational Behavior differentiated between constructivism and constructivist and invited scholars to write on one or both in Volume 64, Number 3. Articles in other journals presented studies using this theoretical framework.
Holland. Although few articles investigated Holland's (1997) typology theory in 2004, a significant work by Reardon, Vernick, and Reed analyzed U.S. census employment data using Holland's classification system. The purpose was to examine employment trends that could be relevant to career development, assessment, and practice. Overall, results indicated that distributions of employment were quite similar from 1960 to 1990 despite some major shifts within categories. The authors assumed that examination of national employment trends over this period might provide a comprehensive and empirical description of apparent shifts in the labor market and the implications for career theories and services. They applied the Holland classification system to census and other labor market data and then organized the 1990 census data accordingly. This allowed them to interpret labor market stability in a single system. They posed six questions. The first question focused on the distribution of occupational titles used over four decades for kinds of work classified by Holland's RIASEC (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional) model. Their results showed that the distribution of occupational titles is extremely skewed in each of the decades, with the Realistic area including more titles than the other five areas: 46% to 50% over the 40-year period. At the other end of the spectrum, only 2% of the occupational titles were identified as belonging in the Artistic area. There was an increase of 300% in the Enterprising area, with 27 in 1960 and 95 in 1990. The second question addressed the relationship between occupational level and 30 kinds of work based on two-letter Holland codes from the 1990 census and found that the Realistic and Enterprising areas are characterized by the most diverse level of cognitive complexity. Question 3 concerned the distribution of those employed in six kinds of work across the 4 decades and found that actual distribution of employment for the six areas resembles that for the occupational titles in the census data. As an example, the authors cited the Realistic area as having the most occupational titles as well as the greatest number of people employed, whereas the Artistic area had the least in both. They also found that, although the percentage of employment related to the Realistic area declined 18% between 1960 and 1990, it still constituted the largest employment area. It was followed by Enterprising, Conventional, Social, Investigative, and Artistic, in that order. The fourth question looked at employment gender differences. Most men--between 79% and 85%--were employed in the Realistic area, followed by the Enterprising area over the 4 decades, whereas women were employed in more varied work, including Conventional, Realistic, Social, and, recently, Enterprising work. Reardon et al. pointed out that the percentage of employment in the Enterprising area had almost doubled, from 13% in 1960 to 24% in 1990. The Social area remained about the same, and the Investigative and Artistic areas were consistently the lowest areas. Question 5 concerned income levels and included gender differences in income in different kinds of work and showed a large discrepancy, with the average income for work in the Investigative area to be more than twice as large as the average income for work in the Conventional area. Perhaps the most significant of Reardon et al.'s findings was that "the income for women is lower than for men in all six categories, and the discrepancy becomes greater as income levels rise" (p. 107). The last question looked at the implications of data for present and future employment trends. Although employment in occupations in the Realistic area declined and those in the Enterprising area doubled, Realistic employment still remained the largest area across the 4 decades. The authors concluded that their "findings indicated that most people are employed in Realistic, Enterprising, or Conventional occupations requiring low to medium levels of cognitive complexity ... [yet] much of our public discussion of employment and career preparation is directed at occupations with combinations of codes in Investigative, Artistic, and Social areas, which also require or provide higher levels of cognitive complexity, prestige, and income. These kinds of work employ proportionally fewer people" (p. 108). The authors showed that Holland typology can be applied to labor market projections and has implications for workforce planning and career counseling. For example, they stated that the 1990 census results show that the order of ratings of cognitive complexity required for occupations in various codes from lowest to highest was RCESAI and the order for income levels was CRASEI. School counselors could use such data when counseling students. "Students exploring the relationship between educational achievement and lifestyle would be able to understand this more clearly through an analysis of actual employment data" (Reardon et al., p. 111). Career counselors could assist people in developing practical yet more complex world-of-work schemas; important issues such as occupational stereotypes, vocational aspirations, prestige, and job availability could be explored.
M. J. Miller, Springer, and Cowger investigated the concept of matching clients and counselors by Holland codes. They tested the degree of congruency between counseling orientation (behavioral, client-centered, or rational-emotive) and Holland codes and found weak support for Social and Artistic personality types and the client-centered counseling approach.
Work environment and adjustment. A number of researchers investigated various aspects of work environment and adjustment. Using the theory of work adjustment (TWA; Dawis & Loftquist, 1984), Harper and Shoffner addressed the needs of retirees as they plan postretirement work and careers. Drawing on TWA's focus on relationships as well as work tasks and procedures, they argued that, in this population, understanding losses and identifying replacements for these losses are more likely to lead to postretirement satisfaction in the nonwork environment. A case study was included in the article.
Applying Crites's (1969) theory of vocational adjustment as a first step in understanding career self-management, King considered its nature, causes, and consequences and presented a model applicable to traditional bounded as well as boundaryless careers that influence career adjustment (career and life satisfaction or helplessness). She pointed out that career-managing behaviors are used to respond to or eliminate career barriers. Self-efficacy, desire for control, and career anchors facilitate these behaviors. Although career self-management can enhance perceptions of control, it can also be associated with negative outcomes and maladjustment. In fact, the paradox in career self-management is that despite perceptions of control, absolute control is not available. King's article offers insights into the behaviors that people use to remain productive, to keep abreast of technological developments and opportunity, to maintain contacts, to move between employers, and, ultimately, to accommodate the work role with other life roles.
Considering psychological contract theory, Dabos and Rousseau paired psychological contract reports from 80 employee-employer dyads in university-based research centers and assessed joint perceptions in mutuality and reciprocity in the employment relationship. Results showed that mutuality and reciprocity were positively related to research productivity, career advancement, and the intention to continue working for the employer.
Women's career types and their effects on satisfaction with career success were studied by D. A. O'Neil, Bilimoria, and Saatcioglu. Of four proposed career types determined by women's career pattern and career locus, empirical support was found for three distinct types: achievers, navigators, and accommodators, with women in the latter two career types being significantly less satisfied with their career success than were women in the former two types.
Some studies looked at job stress and burnout. Kirk-Brown and Wallace examined the antecedents of burnout and job satisfaction among counselors in workplace settings and found that role conflict was a significant predictor of burnout. Job satisfaction was predicted by perception of challenge and level of organizational knowledge.
In a longitudinal study of 1,244 white- and blue-collar workers, Moore, Grunberg, and Greenberg found that workers with multiple exposures to direct and indirect downsizing reported lower levels of job security and higher levels of role ambiguity. They also reported higher levels of intention to quit, depression, and various health problems.
Strazdins, D'Souza, Lim, Broom, and Rogers combined job strain with job insecurity in a cross-sectional study of midlife Australian managers and professionals. Results showed that those who reported both strain and insecurity were at greater risk of mental and physical health-related problems.
Work and family conflict issues were a significant area of study in 2004. In a national random sample of 2,130 people, Wayne, Musisca, and Fleeson researched the relationship between the Big Five personality traits (Costa & McCrea, 1992) and work-family conflict and facilitation. In general, conflict was negatively related to work-family outcomes such as lower job and family satisfaction and effort. Conscientiousness was related to less conflict, and neuroticism was related to more conflict.
In a study of the relationship between family dynamics and career interests of Chinese Americans and European Americans, Leong, Kao, and Lee found that compared with European Americans, Chinese Americans reported more family conflict, less cohesion, and less expressiveness, which was the opposite of the authors' hypothesis. However, as acculturation level increased, cohesion also increased, indicating significant effects of acculturation on family cohesion.
Dillworth attempted to discover if there were differences between working mothers and fathers and found in their sample that more working mothers than fathers experienced negative family-to-work spillover (i.e., experiences in one environment that affect another environment). However, time spent performing household tasks and on child care did not predict negative spillover for mothers, although caring for a sick child was a significant spillover predictor for fathers.
Feldman, Sussman, and Zigler researched maternity and paternity leave. They examined individual, marital, and social-contextual factors associated with length of leave and adaptation to transition to parenthood. Among their findings, shorter maternity leave (<12 weeks) was associated with higher maternal depression, lower parental preoccupation, and higher career centrality, whereas longer paternity leave (>6.5 days average) was related to positive employer reaction, higher paternal pre-occupation, and higher family salience. Lower parental adjustment to the work role was predicted by shorter parental leave and perceived low-quality child care.
Super's (1957) career life-span developmental theory continues to draw attention in this year's research. House noted that Super's (1980) Archway model, which seeks to address diverse variables in career development, fails to identify sexual orientation as an important characteristic in career development. Her study investigated lesbians' career development barriers within the context of Super's life-span, life-space theories. Ten White participants (ages 42-64 years) articulated a wide variety of barriers across life stages, with the greatest number of barriers experienced in Establishment and Maintenance stages. They expressed concerns about discrimination and responsibility for identity management. House argued that such barriers interfere with the implementation of the self-concept.
In a survey by Bauman et al. among 53 nontraditional undergraduates, 60% cited strong support from family and friends as a reason for reentering college; career and self-improvement were also primary reasons for reentry. These students said that they would be likely or very likely to use campus services such as career counseling.
Super's (1980) Disengagement stage is reflected in Karp's (1989) study of work satisfaction among older professional workers in the 50-to-60-year decade. He found that the 72 professionals (39 men, 33 women) expressed feelings of boredom and discomfort in career that involved declining work options and had slowed down in novelty and personal growth.
Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT)
Numerous researchers focused on SCCT (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 2000), many of whom paired it in their studies with other theories. Super's concept of role salience combined with SCCT was studied by Perrone and Civiletto, who proposed that high role salience was related to high levels of role strain and that coping efficacy mediates the impact of role strain on life satisfaction. Participants were 125 (44 men, 81 women) who were balancing a combination of life roles, not just the two roles of family and work that commonly limit studies. Results indicated that coping efficacy was supported as a mediating factor between role strain and life satisfaction. However, role salience was only partially supported; role commitment was a significant contributor to role strain, whereas role participation and values expectations did not necessarily lead to role strain.
Adachi applied SCCT using Holland's Vocational Preference Inventory along with scales assessing the ability of 301 Japanese university students to execute a course of action (i.e., self-efficacy) and their beliefs about those actions' consequences (i.e., outcome expectations). Both self-efficacy and outcome expectations were significantly related to vocational interest, and outcome expectations accounted for significant incremental variance in explaining interest across all six of Holland's vocational environments.
A sample of high school students in Australia was studied to test a career mediational model based on SCCT and cognitive-motivational-relational theory. For boys, optimism and self-esteem influenced career expectations and sequentially predicted career goals, career planning, and career exploration. For girls, however, optimism directly influenced career goals, which then subsequently predicted career planning and career exploration. Career expectations were predicted by self-esteem, which then directly influenced career planning and career exploration and bypassed career goals (Patton, Bartrum, & Creed).
Helwig continued work on his important 10-year longitudinal study of the career development of students. Combining SCCT with Gottfredson's (1981, 1996) stage development theory of circumscription and compromise, Helweg found that although parents had the greatest effect on 10th graders' development of occupational interests, by 12th grade "parental influences had moderated and teachers had become the primary influences as reported by one-third of the students" (p. 54). Moreover, 56% of the aspirations identified by seniors had never been previously named. During the last 2 years of high school, these students moved away from high social value occupations, gave up fantasy occupations, and moved toward lower social value occupations and more modest salary expectations. Helwig concluded that these changes resulted from a combination of several factors, such as students' awareness of their weaknesses and strengths, the input of parents and teachers, their work experiences, and other lesser factors. In Helwig's view, career education can and does happen constantly and everywhere, but it is only useful to the student when he or she is ready. Helwig's study is further discussed in the Professional Issues section of this review.
Prospective first-generation college students were the focus of another SCCT-related article. Noting that students whose parents did not attend college make up 27% of all graduating high school students, Gibbons argued that their unique needs must be addressed separately in counseling. She used a case study approach to relate self-efficacy, outcome expectations, barriers, and goals to career and educational decision making.
A major focus in 2004 was self-efficacy (Bandura, 1986, 1997). The June issue of The Career Development Quarterly (Vol. 52, No. 4) featured this theory. Decision-making self-efficacy was discussed in a number of other articles. Paulsen and Betz found that six basic confidence variables predicted 49% of the variance in career decision-making self-efficacy for 627 under-graduates. Leadership confidence was the most significant predictor, but confidence in science, math, writing, technology use, and cultural sensitivity were also significant predictors. Wolfe and Betz confirmed previous research that indicates fear of commitment appears to be related to career indecisiveness and "floundering." Their study found that attachment bonds and self-rated attachment style were significantly related to fear of commitment and, to a lesser extent, to career decision-making self-efficacy. They suggested the importance of attention to attachment bonds in career counseling.
Issues of diversity inspired contributions in the area of self-efficacy theory. In a model of the intersection of career and cultural identity at the college level, the development of career self-efficacy in work experiences for Latino students included negotiating family influences and peer expectations (Gross). Alliman-Brissett, Turner, and Skovholt studied African American adolescents' perceived parental support using four sources of career self-efficacy (career planning and exploration, knowledge of self and others, career decision making, and school-to-work transitions) and found that girls' self-efficacy was predicted by parents' emotional support and boys' self-efficacy by parents' career-related mentoring.
Based in the United Kingdom and using a comparative case study approach, Jaina and Tyson found that work-based relationships are more likely to support development and maintenance of self-efficacy beliefs when those involved are psychologically similar. This was found to be true in two dissimilar settings--the corporate and the not-for-profit sectors.
Career Decision-Making Theories
Diversity issues came to the forefront in career decision-making research in 2004. Lease studied the relationship between racial group differences and career decision-making difficulties by exploring locus of control, career-related mentoring, and work-related knowledge. She found that African American students reported greater work knowledge than did White students but exhibited more external locus of control. Interestingly, although external career locus of control was associated with decision-making difficulties, White students reported greater decision-making difficulty than did African American students.
Mau investigated cultural dimensions by comparing results for White, African, Hispanic, and Asian American high school and university students in the United States on the Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire. Results indicated that Asian American students perceived a significantly higher level of difficulty in career decision making than did other groups and that White American students perceived the fewest difficulties. Varying perspectives related to cultural differences were suggested to account for the differences.
A study of apathy among a sample of 310 Japanese and 252 Korean high school students (Lee) considered vagueness of motivation about going to college, career indecision, and ego identity. Findings indicated that vagueness of motivation and career indecision are predictors of apathy in Japanese and Korean high school students. There were some gender differences. Among them, Lee found that for boys, anhedonia was predicted by career indecision and negativity-passivity was predicted by ego identity more strongly for Japanese and Korean boys than for Japanese and Korean girls. By contrast, anhedonia was predicted by career indeciveness for Japanese and Korean girls but only by ego identity in Korean girls.
An interesting study conducted by Hijazi, Tatar, and Gati examined the career decision-making difficulties of Arab 12th-grade students attending schools in three areas: East Jerusalem, areas under the Palestinian National Authority, and Israel. They found no significant differences. However, gender differences were found. Boys reported greater difficulties related to lack of motivation, and girls reported greater difficulties in general indecisiveness. These authors pointed out that Arab female adolescents may be facing greater conflicts and difficulties regarding general indecisiveness because of the gap between their psychological needs and low societal expectations for them.
Using a demographic survey and the Career Decision Scale with a sample of 385 students in the 11th and 12th grades in Nassau, Rowland found that the type of school, the grade level, and a visit with the school guidance office were significant factors influencing student confidence level in career decision making. In another study, family members and other role models plus educational and work experiences influenced career decision making for Canadian young women in science, engineering, and technology programs in higher educational institutions (Madill, Ciccocioppo, Stewin, Armour, & Montgomerie).
Among contextual issues, family and gender dominated the literature. The relationship between family of origin and career development was the topic of interest in the July issue of the Counseling Psychologist. In a major contribution to the career literature, Whiston and Keller provided a review and analysis of the influences of the family of origin on career development from the perspective of the developmental contextual approach of Vondracek, Lerner, and Schulenberg. This approach posits that career development is best understood from a relational perspective that focuses on individual development in a context of change. Whiston and Keller noted that vocational development is an interactive process in which the individual and the environment influence each other. Because the last review of the influence of family on career development was published 20 years ago, the authors argued that the last 2 decades of socio-cultural change on family and career contexts warranted a comprehensive update and, indeed, they summarized findings from 77 studies from 29 different journals representing a diversity of disciplines. They analyzed empirical studies of the influence of parents on the career development of children, adolescents, college students and young adults, and adults. They concluded that career development was influenced by two interdependent family contextual factors. Family structure variables such as parents' occupational area and educational level influence individuals' aspirations and expectations. Family process variables such as support and mutual respect (or lack thereof) influence career-related factors both positively and negatively. Accurately understanding these influences is difficult, however, because of lack of agreement on process terms and the uneven attention to the study of family patterns across the life span. Nevertheless, findings indicated, as they have in other studies, that family factors cannot be examined in isolation and that other contextual factors need to be considered in order to understand career development and choice.
Reaction to Whiston and Keller's major contribution to the special issue was provided by Alderfer, a family therapist. Acknowledging the importance of the connection between career counseling and family therapy, this author provided insight into some gaps in the review. She provided information on family structure, process, and patterns on interactions; intergenerational influences on career choice; and family life cycle developmental tasks and their relevance to career choices. Other reactions to Whiston and Keller in this special issue included a call for multicultural family-of-origin research (Flores & Ali); race, class, ethnicity and key family influence variables (M.T. Brown); the need to consider as core variables the entire spectrum of social class and SES (M. J. Heppner & Scott); and the use of relational perspectives as an organizing framework for future research (Blustein).
Miner-Rubino and Cortina examined perceived hostility toward women in work environments. Public-sector employees (N = 289) who were without reported personal hostility experiences completed measures of occupational and physical well-being and perceptions of organizational context for women. Results suggested that both female and male employees can suffer negative effects from working in a context of perceived misogyny.
In a similar vein, women who succeed in male-gender-typed tasks were the subject of research by Heilman, Wallen, Fuchs, and Tamkins in three experimental studies of 242 participants. Results of investigations of reactions to a woman's success in a male-gender-typed job showed that successful women are less liked and more personally derogated than equivalently successful men, that such negative reactions occur only in an arena that is clearly male in character, and that being disliked has career ramifications. The authors stated that their findings lend support to the concept that gender stereotypes can elicit bias in evaluative judgments of competent, successful women.
Goldberg, Finkelstein, Perry, and Konrad studied the effects of age and gender on career progress outcomes by testing whether the interaction of age and gender contexts moderated career progress outcomes. Using a sample of 232 participants who had earned a master's in business administration, they found that women's salaries did not increase substantially with age, whereas men's salaries showed a marked increase. Moreover, although women earned somewhat higher salaries in masculine-typed jobs, men earned considerably higher salaries in feminine-typed jobs. In a three-way interaction, between gender, age, and age-typed industry, men received more promotions in "old-type industries" and women received more promotions in "young-type" industries.
A survey of the gendered conditions of work (sexism, discrimination, organizational responsiveness to discrimination), job demands, social support, and work and health outcomes for nonfaculty university employees indicated that the relationship between work conditions and outcomes differed by respondents' sex and by the sex ratio of their jobs. Sex ratios and gender imbalance can influence where and with what frequency sexism and gender discrimination can occur and affect job satisfaction and psychological well-being (Bond, Punnett, Pyle, Cazeca, & Cooperman).
In a qualitative study, Noonan et al. discovered that a number of contextual factors influenced the career development experiences of 17 highly achieving women with physical and sensory disabilities. Noonan et al. developed a theoretical model in which a system of influences was organized around a Dynamic Self and included identity constructs, personality characteristics, and belief in self. Contextual factors of developmental opportunities, family influences, social support, role models and mentors, career attitudes and beliefs, disability impact, and sociopolitical context emerged as important influences on high achievement.
Closely identified with contextualism and emerging from it, constructivism has garnered increased attention in counseling and psychology, and 2004 was a year of high interest in the career literature. Language, discourse, and meaning making are integral parts of constructivism. The Journal of Vocational Behavior (Young & Collin, a) devoted a special issue to constructivism and social constructionism and presented a broad range of articles to address each or both concepts. Young and Collin (b) introduced the special issue in a meaningful essay that presented an overview and history of the emergence of this postmodermist movement. They commented that in the career field, constructivism has evolved in response not only to postmodern thinking but also to the ways in which career practitioners actually practice. Young and Collin (b) stated that although constructivism is now firmly established, definitions for it are not yet agreed upon. Thus, their essay clearly explains and differentiates usage of the two terms: "Constructivism proposes that each individual mentally constructs the world of experience through cognitive processes.... The world cannot be known directly, but rather by the construction imposed on it by the mind" (Young & Collin, b, p. 375). On the other hand, "social constructionism contends that knowledge is sustained by social processes and that knowledge and social action go together. It is less interested, or not at all interested, in the cognitive processes that accompany knowledge" (Young & Collin, b, p. 376). The authors discussed the contributions and challenges of opportunities in the career field and presented information on "dominant discourses": the way people talk, think, and act about the concept of a career. These discourses are dispositions (matching internal traits to occupational characteristics), contextualizing (locating people within social, economic, cultural, and other contexts), subjectivity and narrative (interaction of self and social experience in a unique life "story"), and process (the processes by which career develops, e.g., decision making, life-span development). The first three discourses focus on what is constructed and the last on the way construction occurs. Young and Collin (b) contended that constructivism and social constructionism "challenge the basis of career development theories" (p. 383) and especially the traditional view that there are predictable career developmental stages and sequences. Moreover, they challenged the assumptions upon which career development and counseling are founded, namely, that individuals can be evaluated objectively against normative sequences and "so undermines the concept of 'career maturity'" (Young & Collin, b, p. 383). Young and Collin (b) concluded by stating that constructisms enrich the career canon and that social constructionism can reframe the canon itself.
Also in this special issue, Richardson presented an evocative discussion of the emergence of new intentions in subjective experience, a process central to the construction and reconstruction of career, work, and relationships in changing times. She defined and described new intentionality as related to goal directedness and proposed that intentions are a product of social interactions and can be arranged and constructed and can also change personal, cultural, and social histories and meanings. Other articles in this special issue addressed career as cultural construction, cultural context, and acculturation (Stead); a conceptual framework for the relational approach to careers (Blustein, Palladino Schultheiss, & Flum); social constructionism and in-depth career accounts as a career research approach (Cohen, Duberley, & Mallon); constructivism as a means for conceptualizing career narrative and counselors as facilitators of meaning making (Bujold); and career construction through intentional, goal-directed processes (Young & Valach). Taken as a whole, this special issue makes a significant contribution to the body of knowledge regarding constructionism.
Other writers who have focused on the postmodern constructivist/constructionist discourse made contributions as well. In a particularly thoughtful essay on definitions and distinguishers of role models in career development, D. E. Gibson saw "role model" as a cognitive construction and argued that a multidimensional approach in which individuals construe a cognitive composite role model is more realistic and useful than the traditional conceptualization. D. E. Gibson's intent is to free the construct and he contended that "the role model construct is better thought of as a selection process of attributes rather than a search for a 'whole' role model" (p. 149). Individuals, then, construct a role model of what they would like to become from a variety of sources along four dimensions: positive-negative, global-specific, close-distant, and up (in status)-across/down (peer/subordinate).
Campbell and Unger (a) examined the differences between traditional trait and factor models and postmodern approaches to career counseling theory. They merged postmodern family therapy with narrative approaches to career counseling to address the uncertainty and fluidity of present-day careers. An outstanding essay by Moen and Sweet focused on the temporal organization of career paths and life biographies. They discussed the value of a life course approach to theory. They argued for the need to address and redress the mismatch between the new workforce and an outmoded labor market and called for the consideration of work-family arrangements in policy making. They compared U.S. perspectives with select European countries, stating that the United States lags in responding to gender, family, and work and there is a need to recast policy from the current work-family dichotomy to a more complex view of careers in context.
Inkson offered a fascinating discussion of metaphors as images of career. He noted that career thinking and discourse are full of metaphor and that people narrate, compose, and analyze them. Both problems and opportunities are thus present. Metaphors can constrain and limit a person's ability to see career alternatives or can deceive and induce individuals to "see things not there." Or metaphors can help individuals to express their thinking, structure it in meaningful ways, and broaden their career horizons. Furthermore, metaphor may be dictated by the role of its chooser--counselor, client, employer, and so forth. Inkson presented nine key career metaphors that he believes have the potential to express current career wisdom. These include legacy (career as inheritance), craft (career as construction, seasons (career as cycle), matching (career as journey), theater (career as role), and others. The point is that these metaphors act as frameworks for much of career theory, present specific and unique career issues, and offer the potential to move toward integrated views.
Emotional intelligence (EI). In the business arena, interest in the concept of EI has been growing for some time and has entered the career literature. Kidd proposed a constructivist or constructionist approach to the understanding of the role of emotion in career development and career management. She argued that career development and management have been seen as a rational and planned process devoid of emotion. Thus researchers have neglected feelings, and interventions rarely have acknowledged emotional dynamics. This point could be successfully argued by career counselors who work from a holistic theoretical framework. Nevertheless, considering the positivistic approach that constitutes the bulk of the career theories and practice, Kidd's emphasis on the growing attention in the workplace to the experience and expression of emotion within individuals' careers is noteworthy.
Van Rooy and Viswesvaran contributed a significant study on the relationship between EI and performance outcomes. Acknowledging that varied definitions plague the construct, the authors conceptualized EI "as the set of abilities (verbal and nonverbal) that enable a person to generate, recognize, express, understand, and evaluate their own, and others, emotions in order to guide thinking and action that successfully cope with environmental demands and pressures" (p. 72). Results of a meta-analysis of 69 independent studies, drawn from many different countries and occupations, indicated that EI can be considered a valuable predictor of performance. The correlation (p = .23), although not high, is higher than are other employee selection methods commonly used. Van Rooy and Viswesvaran stated that emotions are a critical component to success, especially in a time of downsizing and continuous restructuring. EI can benefit the worker, and an EI person is more likely to empathize with others and to work productively in teams.
The protean or boundaryless career. Emerging from the postmodern, constructionist movement is the conceptual framework known as the protean (Hall, 1976) or boundaryless career (Arthur & Rousseau, 1996). Hall coined the term protean to describe a career orientation in which the main success criteria are subjective and psychological and under the control of the individual rather than of the organization. In the published transcription of a speech given at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Hall provided a history of the protean career concept and a review of its progression over the last quarter century. Included in this history is a description of the Career Orientation Index, whereby the boundaryless career orientation can be assessed, and a discussion on how protean career processes operate in the changing context of today's world.
The contribution of the boundaryless career concept cannot be underestimated. According to Mayrhofer, Meyer, Iellatchitch, and Schiffinger, concepts such as this have propelled the European career discourse and have been instrumental in generating interest and activity in career studies.
The concept of career communities has emerged from the protean (Hall, 1976) or boundaryless (Arthur & Rousseau, 1996) career theory. Career communities are social structures that provide career support and transcend boundaries of any one organization. Parker, Arthur, and Inkson explored career communities and noted that the convergence of different perspectives from career development and organizational development emphasize the social contextualization of careers. The results of their study suggested that career communities facilitate career support, sense making, and learning. They proposed that careers develop in the context of both extra- and intraorganizational communities.
An intriguing point is made by Baruch and Hall (a), who argued that the Boundaryless or Protean model, which originally applied to corporations, was a move toward reinforcing the traditional concept of the academic as an autonomous profession. Yet in recent years, careers in academe have moved toward a corporate model, as higher education becomes more business and customer focused.
Career Theory and Concepts: Summary and Conclusion
We are now well into the 21st century. The nature of the world of work as predicted by Savickas (2000) and others has, in large part, become a reality. The social order is changing rapidly around the world. Workers face the complex demands of diversity in a global economy, continually changing technologies, and vastly challenging and competitive job markets. The necessity of managing one's own career, the flattening of job organizational structures, and the restructuring or disappearance altogether of hierarchical workplaces have brought into question the wisdom of career counseling strategies that reflect a "business as usual" mentality. The professional literature in career theory for 2004 clearly reflects these changes. Only 3 years ago, Whiston and Brecheisen (2002) in their annual review of the 2001 literature reported no postmodern articles in their Theory section and only two articles in their Career Interventions: Innovations section. The majority of career researchers and theorists seem to be quickly abandoning the positivistic career theories developed in the 20th century in favor of postmodern, constructivist theories. This is an encouraging sign in that viewpoints previously neglected have been given voice. For example, gender issues discussed above clearly indicate that although it has been a quarter of a century since the women's movement, women still lag behind men in significant areas in the workplace and the needs of gay men, lesbians, and bisexual women and men have not yet been fully attended to. Postmodern research studies must continue to reveal these discrepancies so career counselors can address them and even advocate for changes. Nevertheless, there is also a danger in ignoring past, well-grounded traditional theories. In fact, if one were not aware of the rich theoretical heritage of the career counseling field, one might surmise from the 2004 literature that contextualism, constructivism, and constructionism were the main theories upon which career development and counseling are based. And yet without the works of Parsons, Holland, Super, Krumboltz and the like, we would be bereft of a career counseling field at all. We appear to be experiencing a strange dichotomy in thinking.
An integration--a convergence, as Savickas (2000) indicated--of newer and appropriate postmodern thinking with the grounded theoretical work of the past is preferable to abandonment of the traditional in favor of the latest theories. Researchers and theorists should continue their pursuit of postmodernist theory constructions, of course, without ignoring the very real contributions of the last century. Indeed, without Parsons, vocational psychology, career counseling, and our very counseling profession itself may not have developed as the unique and distinct helping profession that it now is.
There appears to be a certain "get on the bandwagon" mentality that has manifested itself in the past year. Although this is certainly understandable among doctoral students looking for cutting-edge dissertation topics and newly minted PhDs and EdDs who want to publish successfully, more seasoned writers need to step back and consider how past theories continue to inform professional counseling, honoring and capitalizing on their strengths while calling into question the spurious assumptions that were founded in an earlier, positivistic, and perhaps less complex era. Many writers of the last year have done just this; others have not. Career practitioners will benefit by using their fund of knowledge and skills in less routine and mechanistic ways.
Career Interventions and Practice
Many authors of past reviews have observed that most career intervention articles are conceptual discussions and lack empirical evidence. When articles were research based, outcome studies have been more common than process studies. In their 2003 review, Dagley and Salter differentiated between process and outcome research, noting that "reports of outcome research studies too often reflect an almost total neglect of career intervention process" (p. 126). Unfortunately, articles from this year's review are no exception to this observation. Still, there are some outstanding research-based articles that contributed to intervention and practice in 2004. In addition, conceptual intervention articles can inform practice, and several excellent ones are included here. This review of intervention and practice articles is organized into the general categories of noteworthy contributions, career counseling techniques and strategies, placement and job search, mentoring and coaching, and spirituality in career counseling.
A notable discussion in the June issue of The Career Development Quarterly featuring the topic of self-efficacy was Betz's personal perspective article on the contributions of self-efficacy theory to career counseling. She provided an overview of the theory and its applicability to vocational behavior, as originally researched by Betz and Hackett (1981), and considered its value to career counseling. She argued that counselors should include self-efficacy discussions with their clients, stating that it can become a focus of treatment interventions. Betz provided useful step-by-step information followed by examples of successful interventions. She concluded by stating that self-efficacy based interventions should be part of career counselors' repertoires. Career counselors can gain valuable knowledge from reading this article and following its suggestions.
Pope et al. offered a seminal article on the current knowledge of culturally appropriate counseling with gay and lesbian clients. This is a must-read for every career counselor. These authors pointed out that, although much has been written about career counseling with gay men and lesbians in recent years, there is scant literature addressing issues of nondominant racial and ethnic groups. This article begins by providing a history of and context for career counseling services for gay and lesbian clients. The authors directed readers to publications and conference proceedings that can provide them with practical advice on delivering services. They then gave a detailed explanation of how counselors can prepare themselves to work effectively with this population and presented the types of client-focused interventions that are most appropriate. Barriers faced by the gay and lesbian population were then discussed. For example, Pope et al. recommended that career counselors must address issues of dual and multiple discrimination, so that the client knows of the counselor's sensitivity toward and knowledge of a very real issue. Interventions described in this section of the article should be known by every counselor. Pope et al. then turned their attention to program-focused interventions. They recommended many interventions that have in common the creation of more options for gay men and lesbians. An example is providing clients with a list of occupational role models and networking opportunities with those in nonstereotypical career fields. Pope et al. also argued for advocacy and social action interventions and described ways career counselors can take an active approach to working on behalf of their gay and lesbian clients as well as working with all cultural minorities. They concluded by noting that career counselors who directly address the issues presented in the article will find that their clients who seek help with career decisions will benefit.
Career Counseling Techniques and Strategies
Several articles described career interventions that counselors might consider incorporating into their own practices. Using a pretest-posttest experimental design, Whitaker, Phillips, and Tokas investigated undergraduates' expectations about career counseling. When compared with a control group, participants who watched a videotape designed to influence their expectations significantly increased their expectations about personal commitment to counseling and decreased their expectations of counselor expertise. Use of such a videotape technique could assist college career counselors in helping students to commit to the career counseling process. It should be noted, however, that the authors' hypothesis that changes in expectations would positively affect attitudes about career counseling was not supported.
Underscoring the interest in family therapy and career counseling discussed in the Career Theory and Concepts section above, Malott and Magnuson presented a practical model for the use of genograms in undergraduate career groups. The authors explained the basic procedures for using career genograms, noting that reflections about family influence assist students in gaining insight about their career decisions and how family (and the social environment) affect their development. Malott and Magnuson described the use of a vocational genogram in a one-credit career planning course. The genogram activity was conducted over five class meetings and involved a three-step process in which students in a group setting constructed genograms, reflected on and explored questions about family influences, and then met individually with the instructor to process and assess the experience. Student comments indicated the positive involvement and satisfaction with this strategy.
Shurts and Shoffner argued for the use of Krumboltz's (1996) learning theory of career counseling to assist college-level student athletes in learning new ways to explore other career possibilities. Career counselors can help these students to come to terms with identity foreclosure and social isolation as well as teach them to establish lifelong problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Another career counseling group activity was presented by Santos. A career dilemma was presented and discussed by members of career counseling groups in Portugal. Santos described a career dilemma as either a real or hypothetical situation in which a character must consider the advantages and disadvantages of several career options. The purpose was to promote more complex thinking about career choices, to enhance interaction among group members, and to analyze group members' similar past career dilemmas.
Also using groups in a workshop format, Borgen, Amundson, and Reuter studied career portfolios and their relationship to career resilience in Canadian government workers. The authors' objectives were to develop a process through which workers learned how to build and produce a career portfolio and to evaluate the effectiveness of the process in building career resilience. The intent was for participants to develop "portfolio thinking"--a process by which individuals develop "self-reflection and thinking that could lead to the creation of an effective portfolio document ... which ... would boost employees' confidence and resilience in the face of ongoing restrictions and opportunities in work environments" (Borgen et al., p. 52). Borgen et al. described the portfolio process from initial telephone contact through the third and last group meeting and their assessment method, a focus-group discussion. Results indicated that in addition to learning concrete skills, participants valued the process. Among the benefits noted were evidence of a move to internal locus of control; a sense of purpose, hope, and optimism; increased self-awareness; and supportive interpersonal relationships. Ultimately, participants were able to envision broader possibilities for themselves within and beyond their current organizations.
Rickwood, Roberts, Batten, Marshall, and Massie discussed the theory of career resiliency and the needs of high-risk clients in Canada. They argued that the theory of career resiliency can be included in career counseling practices, especially with those who face multiple barriers or come from environments that are distinguished by poverty and abuse and with those with mental and/or physical disabilities. Rickwood et al. first discussed resiliency theory as individuals' ability to adapt to changing circumstances and "to diversity by learning and developing resilient behaviors, thoughts, and actions" (p. 99). They then presented career resiliency's guiding principles, suggesting that counselors who adopt them can empower their clients to make and achieve goals. This article is well worth reading not only for its concepts but also for its practical theory-to-practice discussion.
Rochlen, Milburn, and Hill investigated two types of career counseling clients: those with moderate levels of career distress, discomfort, and uncertainty and those with high levels of career concerns, personal distress, and perceived stigma about career counseling. Noteworthy for counseling practice, the more distressed group perceived their counselors as providing fewer action-oriented counseling sessions and evaluated the career counseling session lower than did moderately distressed clients. Practical implications are provided.
Forret and Dougherty researched gender differences related to networking behavior and career outcomes and found that in a sample of managerial and professional employees, gender differences affected the utility of networking as a career-enhancing strategy. Outcomes considered included number of promotions and perceived career success. Implications may prove useful to career counselors.
The narrative approach to career counseling was advocated by several authors. Continuing their two-part discussion of family therapy and narrative approaches in career counseling (see the Career Theory and Concepts section), Campbell and Ungar (b) discussed their postmodern career counseling practice, presented their procedures, and illustrated them with case studies. Clients are asked to consider knowing what they want, what they have, what they hear, and what constrains them. They are then asked to map a preferred story, grow into the story, and grow out of the story.
Clark, Severy, and Sawyer proposed a narrative group counseling approach in which college students from diverse cultural backgrounds can develop their own career/life stories that integrate their own cultural values as well as family and community factors. P. Gibson explored narrative theory and career-based satisfaction and identity. A case study is used to illustrate the practicality of the narrative approach. Practitioners will find these articles useful in understanding how to apply narrative therapy to their own work.
Placement and Job Search
Several articles presented new information on placement and job search techniques. For the population of chronically unemployed, Tango and Kolodinsky researched personality traits and outcomes of a job skills training program in Florida, following up on placement of graduates from this program from 1993 to 1996. Of the 500 unemployed individuals in the original convenience sample, 113 were located 3 years later. Tango and Kolodinsky used the predictor variable of no job found, job found, job of general interest found, and job of specific interest found and discovered no significant differences in the variables of achievement, aptitude, personality, work history, work interest, or gender. However, a two-way category model of job found/no job found and the personality dimensions (on Cattell's 16PF [Personality Factor]) of Objectivity (OBJ) and Independence (IND) yielded significant findings. Close to 80% of the participants with low OBJ and 90% with high IND were employed 3 years after graduation. The authors suggested that those with low OBJ have tolerance for ambiguity and disorder and may be able to better tolerate the stress and uncertainty of the job hunt and the interviewing process. They may be more patient and may be seen as more manageable employees than others. High IND individuals may be more proactive and assertive and thus able to successfully complete the job search process. They may be less affected by destabilization and rejection and may be better able to strategize how to win and hold a job. Tango and Kolodinsky concluded by stating that "career course teachers may do well to help students become more articulate in understanding nuances of their personalities, the personalities of their potential employers, and how these dynamics play a role in job finding and in keeping work" (p. 90).
The impact of outplacement support was researched in a longitudinal study of displaced executives and managers by Westaby. Findings indicated that when compared with those who received lower levels of support, those who received higher levels of support, such as counseling and psychological assessment, were more likely to be reemployed, took more time to find reemployment, and had higher salaries. Therefore, it appears that outplacement services are effective.
Considering those in job transition, Bezanson applied a solution-focused therapy (SFT) model and described the elements of SFT to the practice employment counseling. Especially through the use of the "miracle question" and the resultant dialogue, counselors can help clients formulate clear goals that are congruent with their skills, knowledge, and needs and then build action plans to meet their goals. SFT provides a flexible, holistic approach to employment counseling and, as Bezanson stated, is consisted with a constructivist view.
J. H. Miller presented a three-phase solution-focused model to enable career counseling practitioners in Australia to use positive brief strategies. She explained constructivist counseling and set solution-focused/solution-oriented counseling within that framework and then gave an overview of solution-focused practice. By assuming that a person has already changed by making the first appointment, the career counselor helps the client understand what brings him or her to counseling at this particular time and what he or she would like to get out of counseling. This article explains how to use solution-focused techniques such as questioning, scaling, and the miracle question.
S. C. Brown presented a model of students' postcollege decision making within a framework of wisdom development. The model included the reciprocal influences of orientation to learning, experiences, and interactions with others in the decision-making process. Recommended are a number of practical ways counselors can help students make sound decisions that reflect the ways students actually make them. College career counselors can tailor these recommendations to their own clientele.
Rounding out this section on placement issues is an article by Yih-Jiun and Herr, who investigated the concerns of international graduate students returning to their home countries. They used a phenomenological, structured interview format to ascertain that students have diverse career plans that are influenced by many unique factors. However, major, gender, and geography were not relevant factors in students' career placement needs. Unfortunately, negative perceptions of career services or limited services in career centers meant that these students were more likely to use contacts in their academic fields rather than seek counseling. The authors recommended outreach to the international student population along with collaboration between career counseling and placement services and other departments.
The topic of workforce development, although a substantial area of practice for career development facilitators, was scant in the 2004 literature. One article of interest was found. Russell and Strauss provided a comprehensive discussion of the statewide-supported education and employment initiative Career Advancement Resources (CAR) as a career development strategy. CAR works closely with career centers and offices of Workforce Development. The article describes the Choose-Get-Keep model of supported education for those with psychiatric disabilities who wish to return to work.
Also scant were articles in the career literature that directly addressed school-to-work transitions in the United States. Three articles of interest were published in other countries, however. In the Journal of Youth Studies, Lehmann compared youth apprentices and academic high school students in Germany and Canada and found differences in how working-class students perceived future success. Working-class students who planned to attend college perceived their plans as more risky and uncertain than did students with highly educated parents. On the other hand, working-class students in apprenticeships were confident about their success. Both counselors working with school-to-work transition students and counselors working with first-generation college students need to take these findings into consideration. Education + Training published the other two articles of interest. Reporting on an Australian case study, Nevile noted that participants in a compulsory school-to-work experience valued this experience if they felt they were learning and making connections with the labor market. The program seemed to be successful in increasing self-esteem and improving communication and interpersonal skills. In another study of school-based apprenticeships in Australia, Smith, Dalton, and Dolheguy found that work placement experiences played a significant part in developing student decision-making agency in the school-to-work transition.
Mentoring and Coaching
Mentoring. A number of articles addressed mentoring. The career benefits of mentoring for proteges was addressed by Allen, Eby, Poteet, Lentz, and Lima in a meta-analytic review. The purpose was to summarize existing data about the relationship between mentoring and benefits for proteges. They focused on two facets of mentoring: career functions (i.e., objective career outcomes such as promotion or compensation) and psychological functions (i.e., subjective career outcomes such as affective and less tangible signs of career success). Types of studies included were those that compared outcomes across proteges and no proteges and those that correlated mentor functions with protege outcomes. Results support the consistent claim that those who are mentored do gain substantial benefits and suggest that type of mentoring may make an important difference in outcomes. Specifically, "behaviors associated with psychological mentoring, such as role modeling, acceptance and confirmation, counseling, and friendship, were more highly related to satisfaction with the mentor than was career mentoring ... [and] career and psychological mentoring had comparable relationships with job and career satisfaction" (Allen et al., p. 132). Mentored versus nonmentored results indicated strong effects for career commitment, expectations for advancement, and career satisfaction.
The selection of proteges by mentor was studied by Allen in a lab experiment as well as a field study. Both approaches indicated that protege ability and willingness to learn were important factors in selection. Mentors motivated by self-enhancement were more likely to indicate that protege ability was important compared with mentors motivated by intrinsic satisfaction. The latter were more likely to select proteges based on their willingness to learn.
Allen and Eby considered gender and relational characteristics in mentoring effectiveness and found that male mentors reported providing more career mentoring than female mentors who reported providing more psychological mentoring. In addition, mentors in informal mentorships provided no more mentoring than did mentors in formal mentorships. In another study, Allen, Day, and Lentz researched interpersonal comfort as a mediating factor in mentoring relationships and found that although interpersonal comfort mediated neither formal nor informal relationship types, informal mentoring and interpersonal comfort were positively associated with career mentoring.
Among the most meaningful articles published in 2004 was a multicultural feminist model of mentoring presented by Benishek, Bieschke, Park, and Slattery. The authors suggested that although both mentor and mentee expect a mutually rewarding relationship that is free of conflict and difficulty, misperceptions about the meaning and process of mentoring abound. A common criticism is the absence of a consistent definition across the mentoring literature that perpetuates a simplistic rather than a factual and complex picture of mentoring. Thus the perpetuation of erroneous information will continue to affect mentoring efficacy. Benishek et al. acknowledged that the majority of research literature on mentoring is positive; however, a substantial portion suggests that the mentoring experience is not always positive. The authors reviewed existing models and suggested that traditional models fail to fully address the mentoring needs of people of color and other marginalized people. They revised Fassinger's (1997) feminist model of mentoring to reflect a more multicultural approach to mentoring by eliminating "commitment to diversity" as a separate dimension and by clarifying instead what is in the Fassinger model and by infusing into it relevant multicultural issues from the mentoring literature. The revised model thus "includes an explicit evaluation of power and privilege, that is, the benefit of unearned assets within the environment and within the relationship" (Benishek et al., p. 436). Differences between mentor and mentee are to be valued and explored rather than ignored, and the responsibility for an open dialogue rests with the mentor.
Perrewe and Nelson posited that political skill is a necessary survival skill in organizational climates. This article describes the nature and importance of political skill and why women are deficient in political skill and then discusses how mentoring and executive coaching can position women to capitalize on performance and enhancement opportunities. Rarely addressed in the career literature, political skill can not only increase performance and advancement, it can also reduce stress and increase well-being at work. Those interested in coaching will find this article a welcome addition to their repertoire.
Coaching. To our surprise no entries on career coaching were found in the career development and counseling literature. On the other hand, executive coaching articles were numerous. Stern contributed a working definition of executive coaching and presented a set of core competencies. This article is a must-read for those who want to expand their career practice into this subspecialty.
The fall issue of the Consulting Psychology Journal (Vol. 56, No. 4) was devoted to the topic, the third issue on executive coaching. This issue is well worth reading because it presents various approaches to executive coaching. Kilburg's (a) introduction pointed out that executive coaching is still in the process of codifying its "taxonomies of organizational ills, diagnostic procedures, and interventions" (p. 204). He observed that most of the literature in the field in mainly first-person accounts, with very little work with empirical support. Nevertheless, Kilburg (a) argued that constructivist theory, specifically case studies such as narrative approaches to research, has produced its own consistent and positive results. He thus set the stage for the remaining articles in the issue, all fascinating. For example, cognitive-behavioral coaching is recommended for stress management and skill development (Ducharme); the therapeutic components of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy can be useful for many aspects of executive coaches but may not be appropriate for others (Sherin & Caiger); and psychodynamic approaches can help address important unconscious material such as conflicts or attachment styles during executive coaching (Kilburg, b). In a different issue of the Consulting Psychology Journal, yet another approach to executive coaching was proposed by Campbell Quick and Macik-Frey. Deep interpersonal communication is a developmental model of coaching with the potential for a deep level of clinical and therapeutic intervention.
Spirituality in Career Counseling
Spirituality in career counseling was discussed in several articles. Gockel presented an overview of the trend toward spirituality in the workplace, looked at how spiritual concepts are translated into organizational structures, and discussed how spirituality can be integrated into career counseling practice. She defined spirituality in the workplace as covering a broad range of phenomena that "centers on a personal experience of the sacred and one's own connection to it, to others, and to life itself in the context of workplace" (p. 158). She noted that the recent introduction of spirituality to the workplace has been driven by the recent interest in spirituality within the culture at large. It may be that globalization and its demand for continuous change in which continued learning, innovation, and flexibility are keys to success is combined with a mistrust of business organizations. Thus, corporations are turning to new ways to attract and retain highly skilled workers. Employee wellness, workplace community, the popularization of Eastern philosophies, and the disappearance of traditional career paths all contribute to the trend.
Bloch explored the issues of change and connection through an explanation of the concepts of complexity theory and spirituality and applied them to the career-related work of the school counselor. Bloch noted that students frequently ask questions about change as it occurs in their lives and about how they can feel "connected" (p. 347) during the process of transition. Change and interconnectedness of all living things are constants. Bloch argued that the themes of change and connection are at the heart of spirituality. Counselors can impart this important knowledge to their students so that they can accept and use change and understand and rely on connectedness as they come to terms with inevitable separations. Bloch described complexity theory (also known as chaos theory) in spirituality and career counseling. She provided a theoretical basis of complexity theory, presented a theory of spirituality and career development, and then discussed concrete applications for school counseling. However, this article presents information also useful to career counselors who wish to incorporate spirituality into their practice in any setting.
Chaos theory, or complexity theory, has continued to gain attention in social science literature and can be likened to Krumboltz's (1998) theory of happenstance. Those who wish to investigate this line of postmodern career counseling practice will want to read Pryor and Bright's article. Drawing on chaos theory, they presented a career choice theory that looks at career development in a nonlinear manner and argued that relatively minor changes in variables can lead to major changes in a person's career path.
Career Interventions and Strategies: Summary and Conclusion
Studies this year directly related to career interventions and strategies looked at the needs of college-age students and adults. With the exception of Bloch's article on spirituality and three school-to-work transition articles, we found few articles directly addressing interventions for the needs of children and adolescents. However, articles with implications for practice appear in other sections of this review. For the college populations, several innovative strategies were presented that have utility for career counseling practitioners. For adults, the articles presented here indicate that diverse needs are being addressed in interesting and helpful ways.
However, the professional literature on career interventions and strategies this year were predominantly conceptual in nature. Of those that were research based, 12 were outcomes studies and only 5 were process studies. One of the main purposes of the annual review is to inform practice. Career interventions, then, are a critical element of interest. Yet few articles were grounded in what has been actually shown to work, either through quantitative or qualitative research. We concur with Dagley and Salter in the comments made in their interventions summary of the 2003 review: There is more emphasis on research than practice, and the relevance to practice tends to be indirect. Thus, there continues to be a need for research-based interventions and techniques in the professional literature, particularly on actual effective processes on which career counselors can draw. Without such studies, the career development field runs the risk of being of interest only to academics and researchers when there is a clear call for effective career and employment strategies in a changing world.
Career Assessment and Technology
Technology is no longer new to career counseling. Computer-assisted career guidance systems have been around in one form or another since the late 1960s (Niles & Harris-Bowlsbey, 2005). Today, systems of career assessment and career information are multiple and massive, and the Internet is the usual starting and end point for accessing them. In the business area, electronic resumes and electronic interviews have become common. Online counseling has found its niche, and its users are increasing in number. As a result, professional associations including, but not limited to, NCDA, ACA, and APA have developed and are continuing to revise guidelines for its use and ethical standards to regulate practice (Grohol). Testing on the Internet has been readily available and has increased in popularity since a greater variety of tests, translated into many languages, have been offered online. Because of this trend, in this section the use of assessment and the use of technology are interspersed, although not all of the reported technology studies involve assessment and not all assessment studies involve technology.
Kleinman and Gati evaluated the responses to both the English and the Hebrew versions of the Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire (CDDQ). They also determined the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet version of the instrument, including its psychometric features. Lumsden, Sampson, Reardon, Lenz, and Peterson examined three forms of administration of Holland's Self-Directed Search (SDS): the paper-and-pencil version, the self-contained computerized version, and the Internet version. Statistical analysis evidenced no difference between the three versions. Although the college sample preferred the Internet version, largely for its easy access and its speed, the researchers suggested that counselors who use the SDS choose the form of administration that is most amenable to their users and most agreeable to the purpose for which the instrument is being used.
Holland's (1997) RIASEC theory and model was mentioned in many assessment studies this year, not so much for an examination of its own properties as for a base from which to address a variety of questions. Reardon et al. performed an analysis of employment data from the U.S. census (1960-1990) in which the Holland classification system was used. Data were organized according to categories of occupation, occupational level, income, and gender. Results are discussed in more detail in the Career Theory and Concepts section of this review.
Prediger studied self-estimates of work-relevant ability in a sample of 1,629 college students screened for occupational choice according to the six Holland types. The purpose of this study, for planning applications, was to determine whether self-estimates could improve upon the validity of test scores. The study used nine self-estimates as well as test estimates to predict certainty of occupational choice according to Holland types. Results indicated that self-estimates of ability were positive additions to test estimates and counselors should use them when working with students. In a different study, Prediger and Swaney studied the work task dimensions that underlie the World of Work Map (WWM). They explained that the WWM was developed as an "extension of Holland's hexagon" (Prediger & Swaney, p. 440). The two bipolar work task dimensions of the study--things/people and data/ideas--were examined. Three databases were used to obtain differing perspectives on work tasks. The work task dimensions of the data/ideas and things/people were supported by the research. At the four poles, differences in occupations were clearly seen. Data were used to update the WWM. Prediger and Swaney commented on the study (p. 458) and indicated that data, ideas, things, and people-related work tasks involve differing degrees of impersonal, intrapersonal, nonpersonal, and interpersonal interactions in the workplace. They found that the underlying four dimensions that gave form to the Holland hexagon, and organization to the WWM, appeared to be basic and, therefore, an important consideration in career counseling.
Fouad and Mohler looked at the General Occupational Themes and the Basic Interest Scales of the Strong Interest Inventory (SII). Their study sample comprised career clients from five diverse racial/ethnic groups. Only minimal differences were found in occupational themes and basic interests across clients from the five diverse groups. Consistency and differentiation patterns were similar across the groups. Borges, Savickas, and Jones looked at Holland's theory as applied to the choice of medical specialties. The study, using the RIASEC code, was designed to test the hypothesis that patient-oriented specialties would resemble Investigative/Social types and technique-oriented specialties would resemble Investigative/Realistic types. Data from 447 college students who aspired to become medical doctors did not support difference between the groups. The RIASEC code was the same for students in both groups, suggesting that most medical students could fit well in a variety of specialties. The investigators suggested that students should not use RIASEC codes to match themselves to specialties. However, the codes could be used to help students explore how their personalities might be expressed within various specialties.
Osborn and Baggerly looked at school counselors to determine their preferred career counseling and testing activities. In their work, the school counselors who were studied most preferred to use trait-factor theory, which in this study included Holland's theory. Person-environment correspondence theory and cognitive information processing theory were also preferences. However, it was found that school counselors spend limited time doing career development work.
An instrument frequently used in business and industry and indirectly related to the RIASEC theory is the Campbell Interest and Skill Survey (CISS). Sullivan and Hansen explored the validity of the CISS by testing its convergence validity with the SII. Results demonstrated the presence of good convergent and construct validity for the CISS.
Measuring Problem-Solving Behavior's Use for Career Counseling
Problem solving has been demonstrated to be an important variable in psychological adjustment. An issue of The Counseling Psychologist (Vol. 32, No. 3) was devoted to the topic. In it P. P. Heppner, Witty, and Dixon reviewed and synthesized 120 studies conducted between 1982 and 2002 that examined problem-solving behavior using the Problem Solving Inventory (PSI) as the appraisal mechanism. P. P. Heppner et al. concluded that studies indicated that the PSI was a useful psychological construct for the four areas studied. Educational and vocational issues were one of the four areas examined; the others were psychological adjustment, physical health, and coping. Suzuki and Ahluwalia called for greater clarity, particularly in the area of diversity. Lucas concurred, but J. M. O'Neil saw great future use for the PSI in the area of primary prevention. Lopez and Janowski recommended the establishment of incremental validity and an increased level of problem-solving training.
Because it was determined to be such a critical variable in human adjustment, M. J. Heppner, Lee, Heppner, McKinnon, Multon, and Gysbers appraised the role of problem solving in the process and outcome of career counseling. Adults (N = 151) received an average of five career counseling sessions before which, during which, and after which data were collected. In line with the static attribute model, clients' precounseling problem-solving scores predicted postcounseling career outcomes. In line with a dynamic model, those clients who experienced positive change in problem-solving appraisal while in counseling were more likely to have more resources to use in both career decision making and career transitioning.
Personality, Self-Efficacy, Readiness, and Career Exploration With Various Populations
The Five Factor Model (FFM) of Costa and McCrae (1992) has been receiving increasing attention by career practitioners. Reed, Bruch, and Haase investigated the FFM to determine the relationship between personality traits and career exploration variables. Canonical correlation analysis indicated that association exists between conscientiousness/extraversion/low neuroticism and self-efficacy in career search and career information seeking. Last, neuroticism/openness and self-exploration were associated.
Nauta examined the relationship between the Big Five personality factors (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) and self-efficacy and career interests using the Holland RIASEC types as indicators of efficacy and interest. In a sample of 147 college students, Nauta found that self-efficacy mediated four out of five personality/interest relationships.
Gasser, Larson, and Borgen examined a different model of personality and interests and found that the revised 2003 California Psychological Inventory and 1994 SII was useful. The convergence of the scores on the two instruments was somewhat indicative of college students' aspirations for future scholarly work.
Corbiere, Mercier, and Lesage examined employment, coping efficacy, and career search efficacy in people with mental illness. The Barriers to Employment and Coping Efficacy Scale and the Career Search Efficacy Scale both measured coping efficacy. The instruments demonstrated satisfactory results with regard to their validity and reliability for persons suffering from mental illness.
Kleinman et al. conducted a study on the relationship between two readiness instruments: the Career Thoughts Inventory and the CDDQ. As expected, there was significant overlap between the two instruments. The researchers examined the relationship between the two measures with regard to the degree of decidedness of 192 university students. It was found that both instruments were able to differentiate students at various stages of career decision making. Students with greater decidedness reported lower levels of difficulty.
Hardin and Leong used a college sample to investigate the factor structure of the Decision Making Inventory (DMI), along with its validity and reliability. They found the DMI to have good convergent validity, adequate reliability, and the expected factor structure. It was found to be a useful measure of career maturity in European American college students.
Construction and Validation of Some New and Not-So-New Instruments
Employed gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) individuals work in environments that range from supportive to overtly hostile. To contribute to its construction and validation, the LGBT Climate Inventory (LGBTCI) went though three rounds of data collection. The qualitative data collected proved an aid to the content validity of items constructed for the instrument. According to Liddle, Luzzo, Hauenstein, and Schuck, factor analysis indicated that the LGBTCI measured a single construct with mild correlation to work satisfaction and to discrimination at work. Both internal and test-retest reliability coefficients were reported to be excellent.
Schultheiss and Stead constructed a theoretically driven, psychologically sound Childhood Career Development Scale. Curiosity, exploration, information, key figures, locus of control, time perspective, and self-concept served as the conceptual basis for the instrument's construction. Coefficients of congruence between component loadings from two samples supported the component structure of the instrument, which was designed to measure the career progress of students in the fourth to sixth grades.
The Student-Athlete Career Situation Inventory (SACSI) developed by Sandstedt et al., designed to be a psychometrically sound instrument to measure the career development situation of student athletes, was examined. Participants in the study were 138 male and 66 female student athletes from a large midwestern Division 1 university. Factor analysis revealed that five factors named Career Development Self-efficacy, Career vs. Sport Identity, Locus of Control, Barriers to Career Development, and Sport to Work Relationship accounted for 81.39% of the common variance in the data. The internal reliability of each item of the SACSI ranged from .70 to .80. Significant squared multiple correlations determined the criterion validity of the instrument.
Glomb and Tews developed an instrument to measure emotional labor. The instrument, named the Discrete Emotions Emotional Labor Scale (DEELS), was designed to measure the behavior of three discrete emotions: genuine, faked, and suppressed positive and negative. Evidence for the convergent, discriminant, and criterion related validity of the DEELS was demonstrated.
Myers, Luecht, and Sweeney examined the latest iteration of the Wellness Evaluation Inventory, the Five Factor Wel. Using an entirely new database of 3,993 people, the researchers identified a new four-factor configuration that provided a best fit for the data and accounted for 30% of the variance. Two discrete subsets of data were used, and exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were done to achieve the results.
Butler and Waldroop studied a large sample of business professionals over 15 years and derived an eight-factor business function model that represented the manner in which interest patterns were manifested in actual business work. The model formed the basis for a business assessment instrument, the Business Career Interest Inventory. The instrument has been the tool of choice at over 200 business schools around the world and used by more than 75,000 business professionals and students.
Ihle-Helledy, Zytowski, and Fouad examined the test-retest reliability and the consequential validity of the Kuder Career Search (KCS). Adequate internal consistency was found, and test-retest reliability indices for the activity preferences on the KCS were strong. The researchers recommended the necessity for further study of the consequential validity of the instrument.
Studies Concerning the Internet
Koszalka, Grabowski, and Darling investigated relationships between the use of the World Wide Web and human resources in science classes. Results suggested that levels of interest in science careers could be predicted on the basis of the use of the Web and human resources in class. The use of regular Web and human resources was found to be predictive of science career interest for both boys and girls. For girls, the use of the Web was predictive in itself. Further study of the issue was recommended.
Kenny and McEachern commented on the 2002 Reese, Conoley, and Brossart review of the literature on the benefits of telephone counseling as compared with Internet-offered counseling services. Although Kenny and McEachern did not focus on career counseling per se, the article is important to the field because so much telephone counseling has been done by career counselors and because recent curricula in distance career counseling that uses the telephone have been developed and a certification for them have been established.
Career Assessment and Technology: Summary and Conclusion
Studies using instruments based on the RIASEC model have continued to occupy a predominant place in the literature this year. However, studies validating instruments created to test other theoretical models and approaches were plentiful. Assessment has contributed information relevant to many professional issues, theories, and techniques previously described in this review. For example, assessment of personality has been used as a predictor of occupational choice, efficacy, and behavior. A few of the articles selected for review in this section describe the use of technology in testing. Comparisons between pencil-and-paper and various forms of electronic assessment were made. The use of technology in the classroom was addressed.
Annual Review--2004: Summary and Conclusion
This year a philosophical approach has been taken when examining the articles that have been reviewed. Some of the articles published in 2004 express a modern worldview of career counseling and development, others express a postmodern view. These two views are vastly different. The modern view is that the universe is reasonable; progress is seen as inevitable. Truth is rational, objective, and measurable. It can be universally applied. Humans have rights, are self-determining, and can be studied scientifically. Like truth, the good life is definable and to be desired by all. Modernity is not ambiguous! Postmodernity is much more murky. There is great ambiguity. Everything is moving and changing; therefore, nothing is accepted at face value. Truth is relative. It is contingent upon knowing in context. It is revealed in dialogue, and dialogue is often aided by technology. There is recognition of interconnectedness. In a postmodern world, there is the stark realization that if this world is to continue to exist, all people must cooperate. The challenge is dealing with pluralism. What is more shattering is that all of this takes place in a global community where there are yet some people whose thinking is premodern; where things are black and white, right and wrong; and where the structure of society is patriarchal and people are dependent on place.
Theoretical approaches to career counseling in the 2004 literature were largely postmodern, expressed as contextual, constructivist, and constructionist (Campbell & Unger, a; Whiston & Keller; Young & Collin, b). The published articles spoke of cognitive restructuring, and the techniques that these theories spawned--narrative career counseling (Bujold; Clark et al.; P. Gibson) and solution-focused career counseling--were used, by and large, to increase self-efficacy (Adachi; Betz). However, mixed with them were references to modern theory based on Holland, Super, and other familiar names. There is no doubt that instruments based on Holland's RIASEC theory are effective and frequently used (Prediger; Prediger & Swaney; Reardon et al.). That developmental theories such as those by Super and Gottfredson work is self-evident. That they should be the root of school-based programs has been demonstrated to be sound thinking (Palladino Schultheiss & Stead). In the same issue of the same journal, studies based on modern theories are reported next to studies based on postmodern theories. Complexity theory (Bloch; Pryor & Bright) touts the underlying uncertainty of life, which will be what we make of it in a time of change.
One change of which we take particular note is the change in the global economy. With the fall of communism in the Western world and the rise of capitalism throughout the world, there have been many changes in what commodities are produced, where they are produced, and where they are consumed. Very few products of a significant size that consist of a multiplicity of parts are made in a single country today. China's economy has been growing at an impressive pace, whereas the economy in the United States has slowed.
Internal wars have wreaked social disaster in some third-world countries where the gross domestic product has been almost nil to start with. The cost of the war in Iraq has passed the $170 billion mark, and the debt to the United States continues to rise by the second. The cost of crude oil has affected people in every nation in one way or another. The changing economies of world nations naturally affect everyone because they affect the type of work done, how work is done, where work is done, and who does it. For instance, the search for new sources of energy requires workers with the highest level of science education, but it also makes demands on business and will in time employ a growing number of laborers throughout the world. All of this is of importance to the career counselor competent to work in institutions that specialize in social transition and change as well as with individuals who are affected by it.
Transitions have been studied from school to college, college to work, work to job, job to school again, and so on. Organizations in transition have also been the subject of inquiry, as have been the people affected by organizational change (Amundson et al.). And who are the people? We are straight, gay, lesbian, urban, rural, suburban, Black, White, tan, yellow, North Americans, South Americans, Europeans, Israelis, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Australians. We are female, male, Jew, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, atheist, English, Italian, German, and Chinese. We are young and we are old. We are iron men and women, sick and well, who speak many languages. We are here and we are there, the unserved, the underserved, the served, and the servers. Clearly, we are diverse, and clearly the literature demonstrates that neither one career development program nor one counseling method fits all. We live in a postmodern world, and this year we have heard not only from career counselors and researchers in the United States, not only about career clients in the United States, but from career professionals across the world (Watts & Sultana) about their professional issues and about the issues of their clients. It is absolutely evident that although some of our theories express a modern worldview and some of our clients and their families are premodern, we do our work in a world that is postmodern, ambiguous, and diverse. Issues of discrimination for reasons of race, sex, and disability are blatant, but also subtle (Alleyne; Cinamon & Gifsh; Pope et al.). We need to work with both the blatant and the subtle, and the 2004 studies show us how. What we have not yet learned enough about is career work with the aging (Myers & Harper) or with people whose cultural experience is vastly different from that of first-world nations (Irving & Barker).
What of the future? First, there will be more dialogue between the various disciplines interested in career counseling and development. There will be more studies examining our professional past, and our present, in order to guide our future. As is true of the convergence of theory, there will be convergence in profession. We will rewrite and narrate our history, and we will invent possible futures. Second, we will become even more global. Members of professional associations across the globe will be in face-to-face or Internet-related dialogue. Third, there will be more international articles in U.S. publications of career development and counseling, and people from the United States will read international publications. Fourth, there will be growing interest and more research on the subject of career planning for older persons. Fifth, gender issues and issues related to various kinds of families will be increasingly studied and presented in journals and professional development meetings, national and international. Sixth, there will be more research on the influence of personality factors in career self-efficacy, planning, and development. Seventh, the practice of career development within organizations other than schools will increase. Therefore, studies of career counseling in organizations will increase. If the seven items mentioned here come to pass, the eighth will be that counselor educators and practitioners will take greater interest in career development and integrate more postmodern theory into practice. The end result is that the career counselor of the future will be both globally competent and globally respected.
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Mary H. Guindon, Department of Counseling and Human Development, School of Professional Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Lee J. Richmond, Department of Education, Loyola College in Maryland. The authors thank Ginger Dux of Johns Hopkins University and Erica Bley of Loyola College in Maryland for their assistance. The authors contributed equally to this article. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Mary H. Guindon, Johns Hopkins University, 9601 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
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|Title Annotation:||professional literature reviews|
|Author:||Richmond, Lee J.|
|Publication:||Career Development Quarterly|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2005|
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