A schematic reconceptualization of Gottfredson's theory : the development of a compromise measure

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Vandiver, Beverly J.
Bowman, Sharon L.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services
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Gottfredson's theory of circumscription and compromise provides a framework for the application of a cognitive perspective in redefining the integration of career development and choice. A schematic reconceptualization of Gottfredson's theory was proposed to reconcile the conflicting findings of the circumscription and compromise process. The current methods in measuring circumscription and compromise, however, were not adequate to measure them schematically. So the purpose of the present study was to develop a schema-based vocational scale to measure Gottfredson's compromise process.Two goals guided the development of the Vocational Schema Compromise Scale (VSCS), the establishment of an acceptable level of reliability and the establishment of construct validity. Goal 2, the establishment of construct validity, included the following four hypotheses: Hypothesis 1 - four factors similar to Gottfredson's dimensions, masculine and feminine sex type, prestige, and interest, would emerge from factor analyses; Hypothesis 2 - the VSCS would have convergent validity with another career measure, the Vocational Preference Inventory (VPI); Hypothesis 3 - the VSCS would have discriminant validity with a generalized locus of control measure; and hypothesis 4 - the VSCS was not a measure of socially desirable responding.Eight hundred and eighty-two undergraduate male and female students participated in the study. The findings of the study indicated that the goals of the study were partially accomplished and two of the four hypotheses were supported. For goal 1, reliability was establishedat an acceptable level on 11 of the 12 VSCS subscales. For goal 2, construct validity was partially accomplished. Hypothesis 1 was partially supported; internal construct validity was established for two of the three VSCS scales with four factors emerging on each scale. Hypothesis 2 was not supported; there was only a small relationship between the VSCS and the VPI, indicating that the VSCS may not really be measuring the dimensions of sex type, prestige, and interest or may be measuring them differently than the VPI. Hypothesis 3 was supported; the VSCS did not measure a generalized locus of control. Hypothesis 4 was also supported; the VSCS did not substantially measure social desirability. Limitations and implications for future research of the VSCS are discussed.