Type of Document Dissertation Author Russell, Peggy Ann URN etd-08022005-153229 Title The Relationships between Career Interests and Personality Characteristics among African American Women on Welfare Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title E. Jane Burkhead Committee Chair Barbara A. Mann Committee Member Deborah J. Ebener Committee Member R. William English Committee Member Keywords
- Career Interests
- Personality Characteristics
- Socioeconomic Status
- African American
Date of Defense 2005-07-01 Availability unrestricted AbstractCareer theorists have assumed that career choice and personality are inexorably intertwined (Holland, 1985; Krumboltz, 1986; Roe, 1957; Super, 1969), and have built a substantial body of research that directly investigates the relationships among career interests and personality characteristics. Historically, most researchers investigating career development focused on white male populations. It is only in the last twenty years that questions regarding ethnicity and gender differences and their relevance to career development have been addressed. To date, there have been no studies that have addressed the relationship between career interests and personality characteristics in African American women. Although some studies have examined the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on career development (Clark, 1986; McLaughlin, 1976; Poole, Langan-Fox & Omodei, 1990; Ryan, Tracey & Rounds, 1996; Slaney & Brown, 1983), there are no studies that have investigated the career development of women on welfare.
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, the latest edition of the traditional welfare system, has increased recipient work requirements, capped lifetime benefits and increased state accountability. Many of these recipients are African American women who, although forced to move off of the welfare rolls, have entered the workforce through low paid, unskilled jobs.
John Hollandís theory (1966, 1973, 1985, 1997), that career choice is a function of personality, has been one of the most widely researched theories in the history of career psychology. It has also generated the most research on African Americans with regard to career issues. Research of Hollandís theory (1985) on populations of African American women in particular, has been more extensive than any other career theory (Brown, in Brown & Brooks, 1990).
This paper is a review of the various theories of Career Development with an emphasis on Hollandís (1985) RIASEC theory. The author will review its strengths and weaknesses when applied to women, minorities, and finally the specific population of unemployed African American females on welfare. It will then review the literature on assessed occupational interests, personality factors and assessment instruments as well as discuss their possible mutual relevance to the chosen population.
This archival study was designed to explore the relationships between assessed occupational interests and personality factors for African American women who receive Welfare benefits. The specific objective of this study is to obtain an understanding of these relationships with this previously overlooked population.
This study utilized pre-existing data from The Florida State Universityís Career Quest Project. Career Quest, a career development and life skills training workshop using a cognitive behavioral paradigm for welfare recipients, was funded by the State of Florida Department of Labor. The objectives of Career Quest were to aid and encourage participants to develop short and long term career goals and to recognize their abilities to change their current economic status. Participants were referred to the workshop by the local state welfare office and attended a three-week program that consisted of sixty hours of psychological assessment, psychoeducational groups and individual counseling. Workshop content included career and self-exploration, career development, job seeking skills, communication skills, and assertiveness training. In addition, participants conducted independent research that pertained to increasing knowledge about vocational interests, opportunities, and self-efficacy.
All Career Quest participants completed self-report and objective measures during the course of the workshop. The SDS (Holland, 1990) was given to participants on the first day of the workshop, and given instructions to take the assessment home to be completed. The 16PF (Cattell et al., 1970) was administered during workshop hours on the fifth day of the workshop. Staff members explained the purpose and directions for each measure and were available to answer questions that arose.
This archival study utilized data from 185 participant records collected during the Career Quest project from 1992-1996. In order to assess the relationship between career interests and personality factors, the following variables were examined. The independent variables of career interests to be used in this study were the scales from the Self Directed Search (SDS): Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. The dependent variables that were used in this study are personality factors from the Sixteen Personality Factor (16PF): Warmth, Intelligence, Emotional Stability, Dominance, Impulsivity, Group Conformity, Social Boldness, Tender-mindedness, Suspiciousness, Imagination, Shrewdness, Guilt proneness, Experimentiveness, Self-sufficiency, Compulsivity, and Tension.
A multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to examine the differences in personality characteristics based on the career interest types using the primary Holland code. The dependent variables were analyzed using their derived sten scores in accordance with the stipulations of the 16PF test authors. Follow-up analyses of variance were used to discover which of the dependent variables were significant. Alpha was set at .05.
In this study, 170 of the 185 women (91.9%) scored Social as one of their three summary codes. The Social type was either the high-point code or secondary code for 153 women (82.7%). Ninety-eight women (52.9%) had Social as their high-point code. These results are consistent with the literature in that African Americans have a higher frequency of social codes than Caucasian groups. In review of the other career types in the three point summary code, the Conventional code appeared in 130 women (70.3%), Enterprising appeared in 119 women (64.3%), Artistic appeared in 64 women (34.6%), Investigative appeared in 46 women (24.9%), and Realistic appeared in 35 women (18.9%).
Because the frequencies of the high point codes for the Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, and Enterprising types were too small to analyze statistically, only data from women who scored a high-point code on the Social and Conventional groups could be used to investigate the differences in personality characteristics based on career interests. The Social group scored significantly higher on Warmth (A) and Social Boldness (H) than the Conventional group. The Conventional group scored significantly higher on Insecurity (O), Self-Sufficiency (Q2), and Tension (Q4) than the Social group. This finding supported the applicability of Hollandís theory with African American women on welfare.
In order to develop effective counseling interventions, the author offered the use of other theory, such as the Social Cognitive theories, that offer an explanation for the contextual moderator variables such as race, gender and sociopolitical influences.
The researcher concluded that further investigation of the relationship of career interests and personality characteristics of this population is warranted.
Filename Size Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds)
28.8 Modem 56K Modem ISDN (64 Kb) ISDN (128 Kb) Higher-speed Access PeggyRusselldissertation.pdf 20.57 Mb 01:35:12 00:48:57 00:42:50 00:21:25 00:01:49