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  1. UNIVERSITY OF FLORENCE DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY Career decision-making difficulties: behind personality, self-efficacy and perceived social support, the role of emotional intelligence Annamaria Di Fabio & LetiziaPalazzeschi IAEVG-PACEInternational Career Development Conference Career Guidance and Development Practices around the World Cape Town, South Africa, October 19-21, 2011

  2. INTRODUCTION • From an analysis of the literature, studies on career decision-making processes reveal an interest for the investigation of the individual variables tied to indecision relative to career choice (Borges & Savickas, 2002; Laethem, Mestgagh, & Vanderheyden, 2003; Nilsson et al., 2007; Tokar, Fischer, & Subich, 1998).

  3. INTRODUCTION • Two traits of the Big Five personalitymodel (Costa & McCrae, 1992) that appear to be greatly tied to career indecision are Extraversion and Neuroticism (Feldman, 2003). • Inverse relationships of Extraversion and positive relationships of Neuroticism with the three dimensions of Career Decision Difficulties Questionnaire (CDDQ, Gati et al., 1996): extrovert and emotionally stable subjects seem to perceive less decision-making difficulties both before and during the decision-making process itself (Di Fabio & Palazzeschi, 2009).

  4. INTRODUCTION • Career indecision is tied to career decision-making self-efficacy (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1996; Taylor & Betz, 1983). • In the literatureself-efficacyis a crucial determinant of human agency and a promoter of activation in the search for information (Bandura, 1989). • Some studiessupport a positive relationshipbetweendecision-making self-efficacy, the amount of initiative and energy invested in the choice(Luzzo, 1993) and a stable model of choice (Gianakos,1999).

  5. INTRODUCTION • The role of perceived social support in relation to career indecision was investigated in the literature(Blustein, Prezioso, & Schultheiss, 1995; Blustein, Walbridge, Friedlander, & Palladino, 1991; Kenny & Bledsoe, 2005). • Perceived social support seem facilitate self-exploration and the exploration of the environment, commitment in career decision-making (Blustein et al., 1995), career adaptability (Kenny & Bledsoe, 2005), career exploration (Rogers, Creed, & Glendon, 2008), career aspirations and career development of the students (Wall, Covell, & MacIntryre, 1999).

  6. INTRODUCTION A topic of recent interest regarding the career choice process is research on the construct of emotional intelligence (Di Fabio & Blustein, 2010; Di Fabio & Kenny, 2011; Di Fabio & Palazzeschi, 2008, 2009). Individuals who possess greater emotional intelligence are better able to integrate emotional experiences with thoughts and actions(Emmerling & Cherniss, 2003). Emotional intelligence may then play a role in the processes of career exploration and career decision-making (Emmerling & Cherniss, 2003), with an increase of individuals’ faith in their own ability to deal with tasks related to academic/career decision-making (Brown, George-Curran, & Smith, 2003) and an increase of their ability to predict emotional consequences of a potential career choice (Emmerling & Cherniss, 2003).

  7. Career Decision Difficulties Prior to beginning the process During the process Lack of Readiness Lack of Information Inconsistent Information Lack of Motivation Decisional process Unreliable Information Indecisiveness Occupations Internal Conflicts Dysfunctional Myths Self External Conflicts Ways of obtaining information Career Decision-making Difficulties (Gati, Krausz, & Osipow, 1996)

  8. INTRODUCTION In the literature relationships between career decision-making difficulties and emotional intelligence emerge(Di Fabio & Palazzeschi, 2008). An inverse relationship between emotional intelligence and the three dimensions of Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire (CDDQ, Gati et al., 1996) emerges (Di Fabio & Palazzeschi, 2008). The emotional intelligence dimensionsadd a percentage of incremental variance with respect to personality traits in explaining career decision-making difficulties (Di Fabio & Palazzeschi, 2009). Importance of emotional self-awareness for career construction (Di Fabio & Palazzeschi, 2008).

  9. AIM Take an in-depth look at the role of personality traits, career decision-making self-efficacy, perceived social support, and emotional intelligence in relation to career decision-making difficulties. Verify the existence of incremental validity of emotional intelligence with respect to personality, career decision-making self-efficacy and perceived social support.

  10. HYPOTHESES H1. Individuals who report higher career decision-making difficulties will be lower on extraversion (Albion & Fogarty; 2002; Caldwell & Burger, 1998; Feldman, 2003; Kanfer et al., 2001) and lower on emotional stability (Albion & Fogarty; 2002; Boudreau et al., 2001; Feldman, 2003; Tokar et al., 1998); H2. Individuals who report higher career decision-making difficulties will show lower career decision-making self-efficacy(Creed et al., 2004; Gianakos, 1999); H3. Individuals who report higher career decision-making difficulties will perceive lower social support (Blustein et al., 1995; Blustein et al., 1991; Young et al., 2001).

  11. HYPOTHESES H4. Individuals who report higher career decision-making difficulties will show lower levels of emotional intelligence(Di Fabio & Kenny, in press; Di Fabio & Palazzeschi, 2008, 2009; Emmerling & Cherniss, 2003). H5. Emotional intelligence adds a percentage of incremental variance with respect to both personality, career decision-making self-efficacy and perceived social support in relation to career decision-making difficulties (Di Fabio & Palazzeschi, 2009).

  12. METHOD PARTICIPANTS 227 Italian university students of the twelve Faculties of the University of Florence.138 males (60.8%) and 89 females (39.2%); median age 22.01, SD = 1.99. MEASURES Career Decision Difficulties Questionnaire (CDDQ, Gati, Krausz, & Osipow, 1996), in the Italian version by Di Fabio and Palazzeschi (in press). Big Five Questionnaire (Caprara, Barbaranelli, & Borgogni, 1993). Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale - Short Form(CDSES-SF, Betz, & Taylor, 2000) in the Italian version by Nota, Pace and Ferrari (2008). Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS, Zimet et al., 1988) in the Italian version by Di Fabio and Busoni (2008). Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (Bar-On EQ-i; Bar-On, 2002), in the Italian version by Franco and Tappatà (2009).

  13. PROCEDURESTest administration was conducted in a collective manner by specialized personnel, in accordance with the laws on privacy.The order of administration was counterbalancedto control the effects of the order of presentation. DATA ANALYSIS • Correlations (Pearson’s r ) • Hierarchicalregressions

  14. RESULTS: HIERARCHICAL REGRESSION Dependent variable: Lack of Readiness Personality traits account for the 19% of the variance of Lack of Readiness dimension. When career decision-making self-efficacy and the three factors of perceived social support are added, the model accounts for the 16% greater of variance. When Intrapersonal, Adaptability and Stress Management dimensions of emotional intelligence are added, the model accounts for the 11% greater of variance.

  15. RESULTS: HIERARCHICAL REGRESSION Dependent variable: Lack of Information Personality traits account for the 13% of the variance of Lack of Information dimension. When career decision-making self-efficacy and the three factors of perceived social support are added, the model accounts for the 17% greater of variance. When Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Adaptability and Stress Management dimensions of emotional intelligence are added, the model accounts for the 16% greater of variance.

  16. RESULTS: HIERARCHICAL REGRESSION Dependentvariable: Inconsistent Information Personality traits account for the 18% of the variance of Inconsistent Information dimension. When career decision-making self-efficacy and the three factors of perceived social support are added, the model accounts for the 22% greater of variance. When Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Adaptability and Stress Management dimensions of emotional intelligence are added, the model accounts for the 10% greater of variance.

  17. DISCUSSION The first hypothesis (H1) was confirmed. Each of the three dimensionsof CDDQ are inversely tied to Extraversion and Emotional Stability. These results are in line with the findings present in the literature in relation to career indecision (Boudreau et al., 2001; Caldwell & Burger, 1998; Feldman, 2003; Kanfer et al., 2001; Tokar et al., 1998) and particularly in relation to career decision making-difficulties (Albion & Fogarty, 2002).

  18. DISCUSSION The second hypothesis (H2) was confirmed. Each of the three dimensionsof CDDQ are inversely tied to career decision-making self-efficacy. Self-efficacy plays a role in the understanding of the career indecision (Creed et al., 2004; Gianakos, 1999), particularly in the specific difficulties that individuals may encounter before and during the career decision-making process.

  19. DISCUSSION The third hypothesis (H3) was confirmed. Each of the three dimensionsof CDDQ are inversely tied to perceived social support. These results are in line with the findings present in the literature (Blustein et al., 1995; Blustein et al., 1991; Kenny & Bledsoe, 2005; Young et al., 2001). The relevance of perceived social support for career decision-making difficulties is outlined, particularly in career choices.

  20. DISCUSSION The fourth hypothesis (H4) was confirmed. Each of the three dimensionsof CDDQ are inversely tied to the dimensions of emotional intelligence. These results are in line with previous studies (Di Fabio & Palazzeschi, 2008, 2009).

  21. DISCUSSION The fifth hypothesis (H5) was confirmed. The dimensions of emotional intelligence adds a percentage of incremental variance with respect to personality, career decision-making self-efficacy and perceived social support in relation to career decision-making difficulties. These results are in line with the findings in the literature (Di Fabio & Palazzeschi, 2009).

  22. DISCUSSION Lack of Readiness dimension is mainly explained by the Intrapersonal dimension of emotional intelligence as a previous study suggested (Di Fabio & Palazzeschi, 2008). Role of emotional self-awareness in the difficulties that prevent individuals from starting the decision-making process.

  23. DISCUSSION Lack of Information dimensionis mainly explained by the Adaptability dimension of emotional intelligence, differently than the findings in the literature (Di Fabio & Palazzeschi, 2008). • Importance of using emotions to enact effective problem solving strategies in the search for information concerning the career decision-making process.

  24. DISCUSSION Inconsistent Information dimension is mainly explained not only by Intrapersonal dimension of emotional intelligence, as suggested in a previous research (Di Fabio & Palazzeschi, 2008) but also by the Interpersonal dimension of emotional intelligence. • Role played by emotional self-awareness and the ability to build satisfying relationships with others and to understand their sentiments in the perception of information that may be reliable and consistent.

  25. LIMITS AND FUTURE RESEARCH Results obtained from a specific sample of students of University of Florence. Use more representative sample of the current Italian situation and verify the results in other international contexts. Use of the self-report type of measurement. To measure emotional intelligence would be useful to join self-assessment questionnaires and tool that are able to detect emotional intelligence skills.

  26. CONCLUSIONS • The results of this study allow to investigate the relation of the decision-making difficulties in career choice with personality traits, career decision-making self-efficacy, perceived social support and in particular emotional intelligence. • In literature emotional intelligence is an increasable variable • (Bar-On, 1997, 2000; Cooper, 1997; Di Fabio & Kenny, in press). Also in guidance and career counseling it is possible to hypothesize the usefulness of specific training aimed at enhancing emotional intelligence to reduce career decision-making difficulties and facilitate the process of choice.

  27. Thankyouforyourattention adifabio@psico.unifi.it