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Psychometric Properties of the Job Search Self-Efficacy Scale. Investigators: Jeff Christianson Cody Foster Jon Ingram Dan Neighbors Faculty Mentor: Dr. Susan Lonborg. Purpose.

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psychometric properties of the job search self efficacy scale
Psychometric Properties of the Job Search Self-Efficacy Scale


Jeff Christianson

Cody Foster

Jon Ingram

Dan Neighbors

Faculty Mentor:

Dr. Susan Lonborg

  • To investigate the psychometric properties (I.e., reliability, validity) of a new measure of job search self-efficacy
  • Self-efficacy expectations: individuals’ beliefs about their abilities to “organize and execute courses of action required to attain designed types of performance” (Bandura, 1986, p. 391)
social cognitive career theory
Social Cognitive Career Theory
  • SCCT (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1996) is a leading theory of career development today
  • Three central variables:
    • Self-efficacy expectations (“Can I do this?”)
    • Outcome expectations (“What will happen if…?”)
    • Personal goals
social cognitive career theory1
Social Cognitive Career Theory
  • SCCT recognized for its attention to contextual variables (e.g., gender, ethnicity) and career-related cognitions that shape career choices and behavior
  • Numerous instruments for assessing career-related self-efficacy, including:
    • Occupational Self Efficacy Scale
    • Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale
  • No published instrument, to date, measuring job search self-efficacy
job search self efficacy
Job Search Self-Efficacy
  • Job Search Self-Efficacy Scale (JSSES; Kessler & Lonborg) developed for use in career services with unemployed workers
    • To date, no data on the psychometric properties of the JSSES
  • JSSES has potential to be useful in assessing college students’ self-efficacy regarding the job search process
research goals
Research Goals
  • Study 1: Develop a measure of job search experience
  • Study 2: Examine the reliability and validity of the Job Search Self-Efficacy Scale (JSSES) by examining:
    • Internal consistency reliability
    • Concurrent validity (e.g., comparing JSSES scores to those on other established career self-efficacy scales)
study 1 procedures
Study 1 Procedures
  • Job Search Experience Questionnaire (JSEQ, Christianson, Ingram, Lonborg & Foster, 2006) developed and pilot tested during Winter 2007
  • The JSEQ is an 24-item questionnaire designed to obtain information about previous job search experiences; for example:
    • “Have you ever posted your resume online?
  • After participants completed the JSEQ, investigators solicited suggestions for revisions in the instrument
study 2 procedures
Study 2 Procedures
  • In Spring 2007, we began investigating the psychometric properties (e.g., reliability, validity) of the Job Search Self-Efficacy Scale (JSSES; Kessler & Lonborg, 1994).
    • Job search self-efficacy defined as confidence in one’s ability to complete specific tasks related to the job search process
  • Because the job search process is an essential component of the development of young adults, the initial population for study was college students.
study 2 procedure
Study 2 Procedure
  • Design: Correlational research
  • Participants: 80 undergraduate students recruited through the Psychology Department research participation bulletin board
    • 21 males, 58 females, 1 unknown
    • Mean age: 23.01 years
    • 56.3% Caucasian, 8.8% Asian/PI, 5% Hispanic, 22% unknown
    • 12.5% FR, 13.8% SO, 30.0% JR, 37.5% SR
study 2 procedures1
Study 2 Procedures
  • Study instruments were administered to small groups of participants
    • Completion of study-related measures required 30-40 minutes of participants’ time
  • The SE instruments were counterbalanced to control for possible order effects
research measures
Research Measures
  • Participants were asked to read an informed consent form and complete the following instruments:

(a) The Job Search Self-Efficacy Scale

(b) The Occupational Self Efficacy Scale (OSES; Osipow, Temple, & Rooney)

(c) The Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale (CDMSE; Betz & Taylor, 2001)

(d) The Career Decision Scale (CDS; Osipow)

(e) The Job Search Experience Questionnaire

study 2 procedures2
Study 2 Procedures
  • Participants were asked to refrain from placing their names on instruments to ensure the anonymity of the data
  • Upon completion of study procedures, participants were given written post-study information and documentation of their participation in a psychology research study
  • Internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha)
    • Career Decision SE .90
    • Job Search Self Efficacy .97
    • Occupational Self Efficacy .93
    • Career Decision Scale .86
    • Job Search Experience .69
  • Concurrent Validity
    • Job Search SE / Career Decision SE .68**
    • Job Search SE / Occupational SE .40**
  • Other Correlations
    • Job Search SE / Job Search Exp .26*
    • Job Search SE / Career Certainty .24*
    • Job Search SE / Career Indecision -.23*



  • Moderate, positive, and statistically significant correlations with other established SE measures provide support for the concurrent validity of the JSES
  • Cronbach alpha of .97 provides evidence for the internal consistency (reliability) of the JSES
  • Methodological Limitations
    • Small sample size
    • Need to replicate study with more diverse populations of adults
    • Job Search Experience Questionnaire is new instrument; currently lacks psychometric data
  • Methodological Strengths
    • College students represent an important population for study of job search SE
    • Counterbalancing order of presentation of SE measures
    • Use of well-established measures of career-related SE
  • Suggestions for future research
    • Factor analysis of the JSSES
    • Data collection at Career Center and at other universities
    • Data collection with other populations of adult workers
    • Examine possible gender differences in job search self efficacy, given previously observed gender differences in career self-efficacy