- Career Exploration and Decision Self-Efficacy Scale:Factorial Structure and Validity
Since Chinese Ministry of Education has implemented the Higher Education Enrollment Policy in 1999, the quality of undergraduate education has been widely criticized. Meanwhile, the Chinese job market has been constantly changing, due to global competition, technological advances, and job insecurity. This can result in college students and the unemployed losing their confidence to develop and manage various career adaptive behaviors, including career exploration, job searching, career advancement, and the management of multiple roles; therefore, it is important for educators to understand the process by which Chinese college students develop career self-efficacy. Career exploration and decision self-efficacy refer to beliefs and judgments about one's ability to manage specific tasks across the career-life period, such as career preparation, entry, adjustment, and disengagement or re-engagement (Lent & Brown, 2013).
In light of these situations, Lent and Brown (2013) pointed out that both new models and new methods are strongly needed to assist employees and graduates in managing their occupational living, especially for new graduates. In 2016, Lent, Ezeofor, Morrison, Penn, and Ireland developed the Career Exploration and Decision Self-Efficacy Scale (CEDSE) to assess beliefs of individuals to manage the process of career development. Inspired by the work of Lent et al., our aim was to revise the scale and test the dimensional structure in Chinese contexts to offer a convenient instrument for study on the process aspect of career efficacy in China.
A relatively brief measure, the 29-item CEDSE consists of 4 to 8 items that measure each of 5 dimensions: perceived ability to (a) explore the self connecting to work, (b) explore probable career paths, (c) assess the fit between personal character and occupational options, (d) make and carry out the career decision, and (e) cope with decisional barriers and post-decisional regrets. After factor analysis, the final CEDSE included 2 factors, covering 12 items, brief decisional self-efficacy (CEDSE-BD, 8 items) and coping efficacy (CEDSE-CE, 4 items). The first factor was made up of 4 out of 5 dimensions, including beliefs and judgments in regards to exploring the self in relation to work, exploring probable [End Page 475] career paths, matching one's personality to career options, and planning and implementing the career decision. The second factor involved confidence about one's ability to manage decisional obstacles and disappointments in career exploration and decision activities.
Outcome expectations and proactive personality were chosen as the criteria to test the validity of this tool. Outcome expectations refers to anticipated consequences in which the individual performs special behaviors (Betz & Voyten, 1997; Lent & Brown, 2013; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994). Meta-analysis has shown a moderate association between career self-efficacy and outcome expectations (Choi et al., 2012; Li, Xin, & Yu, 2016). Proactive personality is a relatively stable individual difference that a person initiates to affect the surrounding environment (Bateman & Crant, 1993; Mao & Wen, 2012). Some research has shown a positive relationship between proactive personality and career decision self-efficacy (Kuang, Zheng, Lin, Yang, & Liu, 2011).
A total of 640 undergraduates in 2 Chinese universities participated in this research. Sample 1 with 214 college students included 68.7% women and 76.2% junior students. Sample 2 consisted of 426 college students; 31.5% were men and 23.7% were freshmen or sophomores.
First, the original CEDSE (Lent et al., 2016) was translated to Chinese context. A back-translation was carried out by three Chinese native speakers who majored in English. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted with Sample 1. Second, we tested the goodness of fit and assessed the reliability and validity with Sample 2.
The Chinese version of CEDSE included 12 items with two subscales: CEDSEBD and CEDSE-CE. Participants marked their confidence on a 5-point Likert-type scale between 1 (no confidence at all) to 5 (complete confidence).
Proactive Personality Scale (PPS)
The Chinese PPS (Shang & Gan, 2009), with 11 items, was adopted to assess the stable tendency to take action and change one's environment...