Practice and research in career counseling and development--2006.

Author:Tien, Hsiu-Lan Shelley
Position::Annual Review

The author presents professional literature published in 2006 related to career counseling and development. The literature is organized into 3 sections: (a) professional issues related to career development throughout the life span, culture, ethnicity, gender, and other specific topics; (b) research related to theoretical and conceptual advances; and (c) career interventions and practice, including issues related to career assessment and technology. Cohesive themes throughout this review are the concepts of social context embedded in career development, multicultural perspectives, and global and international perspectives of career development. Research is encouraged regarding career interventions that are based on career theories specific to certain cultures and in general for global needs.


The annual review organizes the professional career literature published in 2006. This review of the literature was challenging, and I did not realize how overwhelming this task would be until I became immersed in the process. Despite my being overwhelmed, constant learning occurred and made my teaching and supervision work abundant. To make the literature review meaningful for career researchers and practitioners alike, I tried to be succinct in searching for and including articles to be reviewed. The search, therefore, was not exhaustive. Each article published in The Career Development Quarterly, Journal of Career Development, Journal of Career Assessment, Journal of Vocational Behavior, and Journal of Employment Counseling was read. Next, a keyword search was conducted on all journals published by the American Counseling Association and on certain journals published by the American Psychological Association. Career-related articles from the Journal of Counseling & Development, Professional School Counseling, Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, Journal of Counseling Psychology, The Counseling Psychologist, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, Journal of College Counseling, Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, and Psychological Reports have also been included in this review. During the literature search process, I noticed that there was an increase in the number of studies concerning career counseling in organizational settings and in career coaching. Thus, some relevant career-related articles from Human Resource Management Review, the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Human Relations, and Organizational Dynamics have also been included. Finally, a search was conducted of PsycINFO using a set of selected career development terms that identified a few additional articles of interest from the Journal of Business and Psychology, the Journal of Social Service Research, Sociology, The Policy Studies Journal, the Journal of Labor Research, the Counseling Psychology Quarterly, the Australian Journal of Psychology, the Journal of Addictions and Offender Counseling, and the Journal of Aging Studies. No books, book chapters, monographs, or electronic media are included in this review. Ultimately, this annual review covers 134 articles that were published in 2006 in refereed professional journals.

The 2006 career counseling and development review is organized into three broad areas: (a) professional issues; (b) career theory and concepts; and (c) career interventions and practice, including career assessment and technology. This review differs from the previous reviews in that career assessment and technology were considered types of interventions because there was a limited number of new assessment instruments developed in the past year. The literature this year seemed to focus more on examination of career intervention programs than in previous years. In addition, in organizing this review, I chose to discuss each article in only one of the three areas, although it was clear that many articles could have been presented in more than one area.

Professional Issues

Life Span Development

Youth and adolescents. Jacobs, Chhin, and Bleeker examined the relationship between parents' expectations and their young adult children's gender-typed occupational choices. The results indicated that parents' gender-typed occupational expectations were significantly related to their children's own expectations and to the children's actual career choices. In addition, job satisfaction was significantly related to having a gender-typed career. These findings suggest that parents' early gender-typed expectations for their children's occupational achievements are highly related to the actual occupational decisions made by their adult children.

Kenny, Blustein, Haase, Jackson, and Perry conducted a longitudinal study assessing the relationship between indices of career development (career planfulness and career expectations) and school engagement (belonging and valuing). The data were examined through structural equation modeling for a multiethnic sample of urban ninth-grade students. Higher levels of career planfulness and expectations at the beginning of the academic year were associated with increases in school engagement over the course of the year. The observed relationship between career planfulness and expectations and school engagement is consistent with emerging models of career development (e.g., Lapan, 2004) that seek to explicate the value of career development programming as a component of educational reform.

Career development for students at the junior high level has drawn more attention in recent years. According to Super's theory, high school students span two of the life stages: growth and exploration. For these students, a comprehensive career program that included self-concept construction was important for career development. Bardick, Bernes, Magnusson, and Witko assessed the career plans of junior high school students in South Alberta in Canada. They found that junior high students intended to combine full-time or part-time postsecondary education with part-time work. The students were also confident about achieving their future career goals. Bardick et al. concluded that students as young as 11 years old would be ready to seriously consider their future career plans. Therefore, this study suggested that career planning programs need to begin at the junior high school level.

Taga, Markey, and Friedman examined boys' pubertal timing and subsequent interpersonal success in midadulthood. Data from 460 boys from another longitudinal study (the Terman Life-Cycle Study) were examined over a 39-year period to relate age of pubertal onset to later marital success, career success, and adult health behaviors. The results indicated that boys who reached puberty earlier than their peers tended to achieve greater success in their careers and experienced more satisfaction in their marriages.

Diemer and Blustein explored the role of critical consciousness as a key factor in predicting progress in career development among urban high school students. Critical consciousness was operationally defined as the capacity to recognize and overcome sociopolitical barriers through sociopolitical analysis and sociopolitical control. Canonical correlation analysis indicated a statistically significant relationship between critical consciousness and progress in career development. Participants with greater levels of critical consciousness had greater clarity regarding their vocational identity, were more committed to their future careers, and viewed work as a larger part of their future lives. These results suggest that urban adolescents may best engage in the career development process by maintaining a critical awareness of sociopolitical inequity and situating their individual agency within this critical "reading" of the opportunity structure.

Osborn and Reardon administered the Self-Directed Search (SDS) to 98 high-risk middle school students, who attended one of the 14 structured career groups based on the Cognitive Information Process career theory (Peterson, Sampson, Lenz, & Reardon, 2002). The results indicated that the SDS was a psychometrically sound instrument for middle school students, especially those who were identified as being at risk of dropping out of school. For those students, it seemed to be particularly important to make the connection between school and the world of work to develop interpersonal relationship and to increase occupational knowledge.

Shapka, Domene, and Keating applied growth curve modeling to trace the trajectory of the prestige dimension of career aspirations from Grade 9 through 3 years post-high school as a function of gender and early high school mathematics achievement. The sample consisted of 218 university-bound adolescents (129 female, 89 male). The findings support the notion that mathematics achievement functions as a "critical filter" to subsequent career aspirations, with youth who performed poorly in Grade 9 mathematics aspiring to careers that were of lower prestige.

To help increase access to educational and occupational options for a growing yet underrepresented population of low-income, culturally diverse, urban middle school students, Jackson, Potere, and Brobst investigated factors related to students' career development. The results support some applications of Krumboltz's social learning theory to at-risk urban youth. They found a significant and positive association between participants' successful learning experiences and their expressed occupational interests. A positive association between career self-efficacy beliefs and inventoried occupational interests was also significant. However, no association was found between participants' successful learning experiences and their highest or most ideal occupational aspirations.

Germeijs and Verschueren conducted a...

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