تفاوت های جنسیتی در نقش خود تفسیری: اضطراب و اکتشاف حرفه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|20065||2006||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 69, Issue 2, October 2006, Pages 346–358
Given the social nature of many tasks involved in exploring and committing to a career, we hypothesized that social anxiety would correlate to exploration and commitment, even after controlling for general anxiety. We also hypothesized that self-construal and gender would interact with social anxiety in relation to exploration and commitment. In a sample of predominantly European American undergraduates (n = 161), higher social anxiety associated with lower vocational commitment for both women and men, after accounting for general anxiety. For women, interdependence was also associated significantly with vocational commitment. Social anxiety correlated to environmental exploration only for men low in independence. Neither social anxiety nor self-construal associated with environmental exploration for women or foreclosure for either group.
Exploration of the work world and oneself is a critical task in vocational development (Gottfredson, 2002, Jordaan, 1963 and Super, 1957). Career exploration is particularly relevant during late adolescence when individuals are crystallizing their career choice (e.g., Super, 1957). So-called environmental exploration allows the individual to gain knowledge about career opportunities and the realities of different jobs, whereas self-exploration leads to knowledge about one’s own interests and abilities. Together, environmental and self-exploration provide information about how well one’s interests and abilities match specific occupations, which in turn facilitates the selection of an appropriate and meaningful occupation. In addition to distinguishing between what one explores (self or environment) during the process of choosing and committing to a career, distinctions have also been made in where one is in the process and how one approaches it. According to Blustein, Ellis, and Devenis’s two-dimensional model (1989), “vocational exploration and commitment” (VEC) captures where one is in the process. This VEC dimension is a continuum intended to capture the full range of the career decision-making process as described by developmental theorists (e.g., Gottfredson, 1981 and Super, 1957), in which individuals begin with an awareness of the need to make a career decision, but lack necessary information about themselves and the world of work to be able to make a confident career decision. This undecided state is followed by an exploratory phase in which individuals acquire information about themselves and the work environment through the processes of self- and environmental exploration. This information, in turn, enables individuals to crystallize their interests and make confident career choices. How one approaches exploration is captured by Blustein, Ellis, and Devenis’s (1989) tendency to foreclose (TTF) dimension, with an openness to the process on one end, and a tendency to foreclose on the process at the other end. “A strong tendency to foreclose is defined by the desire to commit to important educational and career decisions as soon as possible and an analogous attempt to adhere to these choices even in the face of disconfirming evidence,” ( Blustein et al., 1989, p. 347). This tendency to foreclose may occur at any point in the career decision-making process, leading an individual to restrict his or her career exploration or leading to a premature commitment to a career choice. Consistent with Blustein’s (1997) call for a more context-rich perspective on career exploration, it is important to examine both intrapersonal and cultural factors that influence career exploration. One variable that may be considered both a personal and a contextual variable and that has been consistently linked to the career decision-making process is anxiety. Previous research has focused on the role of trait anxiety in the career decision-making process (Callanan and Greenhaus, 1990, Callanan and Greenhaus, 1992, Gloria and Hird, 1999 and Greenhaus and Connolly, 1982). Trait anxiety refers to one’s tendency to experience anxiety in response to a wide range of situations and triggers (Spielberger, 1966). In light of the social nature of many of the tasks involved in career exploration (particularly environmental exploration), variables related to the more specific construct of social anxiety have also been explored as important predictors of the exploration and commitment process. For example, past research has found that shy college students seek less career-related information and are more undecided about their careers than non-shy students (Phillips & Bruch, 1988). Another study found that although shyness was unrelated to environmental and self-exploration, shy students were lower in career maturity than less shy students (Hamer & Bruch, 1997). Despite the empirical evidence for and conceptual relevance of social anxiety to the career exploration and commitment process, the unique contribution of social anxiety to this process remains unclear. That is, does anxiety in general influence the exploration and commitment process, or does social anxiety account for unique variance in exploration and commitment beyond that accounted for by trait anxiety? The answer is important because it has implications for the types of exploratory activities offered and interventions aimed at increasing young adults’ exploration. To the extent that social anxiety is uniquely related to exploration and commitment, then the distinction between social and non-social exploration is important. However, if trait anxiety is a more important predictor of exploration, then this distinction is irrelevant because even non-social types of exploration may be perceived as problematic for anxious individuals. Thus, the first purpose of this research was to determine whether social anxiety accounts for unique variance in exploration and in where one is in the commitment process after controlling for trait anxiety. Social anxiety may also be particularly relevant to how one approaches the process. Blustein and colleagues (1989) argued that a tendency to foreclose is related to anxiety more generally. For example, anxiety elicited by the career decision-making process may encourage one to restrict exploration and settle on a choice prematurely, which in turn reduces anxiety. In addition, those higher in social anxiety by definition experience more concern with the evaluations of others. This concern may well extend to others’ evaluations of one’s career choices. Therefore, we predicted that higher levels of social anxiety would be associated with a greater tendency to foreclose on the exploration and commitment process, even after controlling for trait anxiety. This heightened concern with others’ evaluations of one’s career choice may be particularly salient among those already concerned with the evaluations of others: those with an interdependent self-construal (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). Self-construal refers to how one sees oneself in relation to others, and comprises two primary types, independent and interdependent. Those with a more independent self-construal value being unique and pursuing individual goals, whereas those with a more interdependent self-construal value fitting in and maintaining group harmony. Of particular relevance to this research, a stronger interdependent self-construal is generally associated with higher levels of social anxiety (e.g., Okazaki, 1997). Thus, social anxiety may have different effects on the career exploration and decision-making process depending on one’s level of self-construal. A second purpose of this research was to find out if this is so, and to respond to the call to examine vocational exploration in a cultural context (Flum & Blustein, 2000), by examining whether self-construal moderates the relation between social anxiety and career exploration and commitment. Finally, gender must also be considered, in light of research on gender differences in self-construal, with European American men and women differing in the types of self-construal they endorse (Cross and Madson, 1997 and Gabriel and Gardner, 1999). Although early research indicated that men were less interdependent than women (see Cross & Madson, 1997), later research showed that men actually exhibit a different kind of interdependence than women ( Gabriel & Gardner, 1999). Men tend to be higher in collective interdependence, which emphasizes group membership and one’s identity as part of that group (e.g., sports team, fraternity, and business organization). Women, on the other hand, tend to be higher in relational interdependence, which emphasizes interpersonal relationships with specific individuals (e.g., friendships, familial relationships). Further, self-construal has been found to be related to certain decision-making styles for women, but not for men ( Hardin & Leong, 2004). Thus, in light of the fact that men and women differ in the types of self-construal they endorse and in the relations of self-construal to other variables, we expected there to be gender differences in the hypothesized interaction of self-construal and social anxiety. To summarize, there were two primary purposes of this research. The first was to determine whether social anxiety is a unique predictor of environmental exploration (EE), vocational exploration and commitment (VEC), and tendency to foreclose (TTF). We predicted that higher social anxiety would be associated with less environmental exploration, less vocational commitment, and a greater tendency to foreclose, and that social anxiety would account for unique variance in EE, VEC, and TTF after controlling for general anxiety. Our second purpose was to examine these relations within a cultural context by exploring the moderating effects of self-construal and gender.