Practice and research in career counseling and development--2007.

AuthorChope, Robert C.
PositionAnnual Review

This annual review of the research and practice literature related to career counseling and development during 2007 is presented in 9 areas: professional issues, career assessment, career development, career theory and concepts, career interventions, advances in technology, personnel selection and job placement, international perspectives, and book reviews. Professional issues of a multicultural, multiethnic, and diversified workforce have become among the most frequently enumerated themes of the 2007 career development literature. The author summarizes and discusses the implications of the findings in this literature for the practice of career counseling.


To select, categorize, and review a full year's arsenal of professional publications is unmistakably a demanding endeavor regardless of how interesting the material or how committed the author is to such an assignment. The intent of this review is twofold. First is to organize the 2007 career counseling and development literature into meaningful groupings. Several categories have been used by previous annual reviewers over the years; I have chosen to add a few new, seemingly important groupings. Organizing in this fashion provides readers with continuity between this review and those that have gone before. Second is to summarize the material in a coherent manner to afford practitioners, other authors, and researchers the opportunity to consider material to which they may not have been otherwise exposed. The feelings of enormous responsibility in this mission and the respect for the bountiful efforts put forth by previous annual reviewers or teams of reviewers in years gone by are not lost on this reviewer.

Without a doubt, despite all of the uncompromising energy and effort that has been diligently put forward in this review, valuable material has been missed, left out, or not considered. In short, I can hardly characterize this review as exhaustive. In the midst of selecting and artfully blending the material for the review, a number of challenges became quite clear. Some journals do not have their final products delivered until well after the first of the year, so reading and critiquing this material warped the deadline a bit. Fortunately, a few of these journals deliver material online several weeks prior to production. Other literature did not fall easily into my envisioned categories, even though these were created with a somewhat broad stroke and ensued from previous annual reviews published in The Career Development Quarterly (CDQ). The cited literature is drawn from journals that are considered to be practically appropriate and scientifically accurate partly because of their being refereed by their editorial boards.

The gathering of the material was conducted with both library and technology, or keyword, searches of articles in the major journals used by American career practitioners, researchers, and writers: CDQ Career Planning and Adult Development Journal, Journal of Career Assessment, Journal of Career Development, Journal of Employment Counseling, and Journal of Vocational Behavior, The Journal of Counseling & Development, the flagship journal of the American Counseling Association (ACA), was also included in this process.

Journals relevant to career counseling and development produced by ACA, its divisions, and the American Psychological Association (APA) were scanned using keyword searches and, as necessary, library searches. Career-related articles from ACA division journals including Counselor Education and Supervision, The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, Journal of College Counseling, Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, Professional School Counseling, and Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin were covered. Relevant articles from APA journals including American Psychologist, Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, The Counseling Psychologist, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Counseling Psychology, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, and Professional Psychology: Research and Practice were also extracted for review.

Drawing from the experience of previous CDQ annual review authors and with the opportunity to take advantage of great improvements in computer technology and innovative search engines, many other journals were included in the process. Certainly, acknowledgment must be given to those reviewers who sought them out previously. Articles were taken from several journals: American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, College Student Journal, Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Rehabilitation, New Directions for Student Services, Psychological Reports, Research in Education, and Sex Roles: A Journal of Research. There were also articles included from journals devoted to organizational settings and the practices of counselors and human resources professionals within those settings. These journals are Human Relations, Human Resource Management Review, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Organizational Dynamics.

With the numerous changes in the labor market brought about through increased globalization, considering journals that amplify the international arena and influence career development around the world as well as within the United States was clearly essential. These are Australian Journal of Career Development, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, Canadian Journal of Counselling, Career Development International (British), International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, The Japanese Journal of Developmental Psychology, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (British), Journal of Youth Studies, Perspectives in Education (South African), and South African Journal of Psychology.

Of course, space limitations forced some difficult decisions and prompted preoccupations with articles chosen and those abandoned. Some sections that seemed to be particularly relevant for changing times were given a slight priority. And several sections on areas important to career development, leadership, and professional competence were given more than trifling amounts of space because of the natures of these topics and because APA had devoted special issues to these topics.

A new, but brief, topic area was created to include book reviews published in relevant journals. The Career Planning and Adult Development Journal frequently publishes a special issue review of new books. Many other journals also include book reviews. I believed that this information would be well received by members of the career counseling and development field.

My intent was to create a document that was more broad and shallow than it was narrow and deep. This may be a departure from other reviews but the result provides a sweeping guide to the literature for practitioners, counselor educators, and researchers. The National Career Development Association (NCDA) is well served by considering the needs of its members, which was the aim of this review. One of the criticisms heard of career counseling and development literature is that it does not offer practical guidance for some of the demanding social and clinical issues now being faced. I hope that this review takes a step toward dispelling this impression.

Professional Issues

Multicultural Career Counseling

The influence of counseling and specifically career counseling with multicultural, multiethnic, and diversified populations continued to be a complicated, watershed topic. The rising attention by authors to offering new empirical data in the area has eclipsed some of the other current literature and is therefore positioned here at the head of the class.

Stead, who has been critical of career theories for their extreme ethnocentric views (Stead, 2004), again made the clarion call that career theories should be sensitive to cultural inclusiveness. Many would heartily agree that career theories need to embrace the great diversity of cultural practices that can help counselors to better understand the career development process among unrepresented groups. Stead noted that everyday activities are culturally embedded and are proven to affect an individual's career development.

Young, Marshall, and Valach took on the challenge by Stead. Drawing from their paper presented at the International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance-National Career Development Association (IAEVG-NCDA) Symposium on International Perspectives in Career Development (Young, Marshall, & Valach, 2004), they orchestrated a structure for making career theories more culturally sensitive. The components of the structure included understanding culture, establishing links between career and culture, developing narrative and folk explanations, using naive observations in local communities, recognizing ongoing processes, and subjecting observations and reports of ongoing processes to systematic analysis. They suggested that culture must be treated as more than a statistical or moderator variable and that theorists and practitioners should work with the unambiguous links between culture and career. An approach such as narrative counseling, for example, might be considered not just as a technique but also as a method of understanding culture and representing a "folk psychology." These authors added that greater observations of socially embedded processes that influence the psychology of working and career development are needed, recognizing those processes that contain a longer series of activities involving cultural complexity. They also recommended conducting a systematic analysis of all available information drawn from naive observations and client narratives.


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