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DISCRIMINANT ANALYSIS AND THE CAREER FACTORS INVENTORY (CFI)

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career decision levels, as well as a diagnostic instrument in psychological intervention in relation to guidance and career development. The latter takes on even greater significance, particularly if we consider the students who do not show evidence of having received any support in their decision-making, obliging thecounselor to intervene more on a remedying rather than preventive basis (Lima, 2005).

Method Participants
In order to evaluate the discriminative power of the Career Factors Inventory (Chartrand et al., 1990) among students with different career decision levels, the afore mentioned sample of university students (n = 1204) covered by the research study in the psychology of guidance and careerdevelopment (Lima, 1998) was considered. Based on the results obtained by the students (1st and 2nd years of several higher education courses and establishments) in the Identity Vocational Scale of the questionnaire My Vocational Situation (Holland et al.,

1980), the calculation of Percentiles 25 and 75 was carried out, with the respective values of 8 and 14, on a scale where the gross results liebetween 0 and 18. Thus, two groups were defined a priori: the Low decided (below the 25th Percentile) and the Highly decided (above the 75th Percentile). The above mentioned groups, defined a priori as Low decided and Highly decided are made up of 252 and 242 students, respectively, from the 1st and 2nd years of several higher education courses and establishments. The Low decided students have ahigher percentage of males (50.4%) while the Highly decided students have more females (57%). As for age, the Low decided group is slightly younger and homogeneous (M = 19.50, SD = 2.73) than the Highly decided group of students (M = 21.70, SD = 6.41). The splitting of the students into both groups a priori throughout the various courses is fairly similar, with the exception of Electrotechnical andComputer Engineering, where the number of students is considerably higher among the Low decided group, as may be observed in the bar chart of Figure 1. As regards the work/employment situation of the students in the sample, the groups seem to reveal some

Figure 1. Bar chart of student distribution by group and course.

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SOUSA FERREIRA AND LIMA

important differences since although inboth groups the vast majority of students are not employed or in search of employment, there are more who work full or part time among the Highly decided students, as one may note in Figure 2.

Instrument
The instrument Career Factors Inventory (CFI) was the measurement instrument used, and its name was adopted in the adaptation carried out in a research study with university students (Lima,1998) and authorized by Judy M. Chartrand, in representation of the Department of Psychology of “Virginia Commonwealth University”. The Career Factors Inventory is considered one of the so-called “second generation” measurements, constructed to adapt to a multidimensional model of career indecision. The original five component career indecision model, resulting from the literature review was notcorroborated by a process that used confirmatory factor analysis. The authors opted for a more parsimonious model made up of four factors. This analysis gave rise to the current form of the Inventory to include four factors and twenty one items,

with a view to a differential diagnosis of career indecision (Lewis & Savickas, 1995). The Career Factors Inventory (Chartrand et al., 1990), thus, containstwo information and two personal and emotional factors. From a practical perspective, the aim was to create an instrument with a solid structure of multiple factors, only containing items representative of each factor. The authors carried out a revision of the Career Decision Scale (CDS) and Vocational Decision Scale (VDS), taking three developmental stages of the instrument’s development and...
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