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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 59, Issue 2, October 2001, Pages 252–261
Vocational psychology has not realized its potential as a developmental science, despite the centrality of its domain across the entire life span and its impressive accomplishments in measuring and modifying career behaviors. Moreover, rapid changes in technology and in the world of occupations have created new opportunities and new challenges. If vocational psychology is to realize its potential in this new reality, it must become a science and profession that can speak authoritatively on all substantive questions dealing with the vocational development of children, adolescents, and adults. It must also seek to integrate its research findings with those of other areas to produce a more coherent, cohesive body of knowledge that addresses every aspect of vocational development within the larger framework of life-span human development.
Donald Super, more than any other vocational psychologist, is associated with bringing developmental perspectives to the study of careers. In recounting the history and development of vocational psychology (Super, 1983), he was careful to differentiate vocational psychology from personnel psychology, engineering or human factors psychology, and organizational psychology. He stressed that “vocational psychology focuses on people thinking about careers, preparing for occupations, entering the world of work, pursuing and changing occupations, and leaving theworld ofwork. ...”He further suggested that the term career psychology might be used in place of vocational psychology “to make clear the focus on the developing person in search of and pursuing a vocation rather than on the static or (technologically) changing occupation” (Super, 1983, p. 6).Super’s vision of vocational psychology, shaped by his being a keen observer of its emergence out of the “dustbowl empiricism” of early 20th century American psychology and by half a century of scholarship in the field, has never been matched by its reality. Although Super’s work, culminating in the career rainbow (Super, 1980),was informed by thework of early developmentalists, particularly Charlotte Buehler (1933), he acknowledged that he had not made use of most of the more recent advances in developmental psychology (Super, 1985). At the same time, Super (1983) noted that leading developmental psychologists, in their landmark volumes on life-span theory and research (Baltes & Brim, 1979; Baltes & Schaie,1973; Nesselroade&Baltes, 1979), seemed to be completely unaware of advances in career psychology. There seems to have been little change since then. In their expansive chapter on life-span theory in the Handbook on Child Psychology, Baltes and his colleagues (Baltes, Lindenberger, & Staudinger, 1998) note that there have been advances in demonstrating the usefulness of life-span approaches for “other specialties,” citing, among others, an obscure article by Sterns and Dorsett (1994) that espouses the merits of viewing career development from a life-span perspective. Neither Baltes and his colleagues, nor Sterns and Dorsett seem to be aware of the rather extensive discussion of life-span developmental psychology that has taken place in vocational psychology for almost 2 decades (e.g., Vondracek, Lerner, & Schulenberg, 1983; Vondracek, Lerner, & Schulenberg, 1986). Lifespan psychologists are certainly not alone in their apparent neglect of vocational psychology in general and Super’s ideal in particular. Although Super claims that the renowned life-course sociologist Glen Elder (1968) used “Career Pattern studyderived theory,” one would be hard pressed to find any reference to Super’s (or any vocational psychologist’s) work in any of Elder’s subsequent work (e.g., Elder,1997, 1998). The same is true of the work of most other sociologists who have written about phenomena that are central to the work of vocational psychologists(e.g., Clausen, 1972, 1993; Kohn & Schooler, 1983).Clearly, something has happened to prevent vocational psychology from fully realizing the vision of Super and others (e.g., Crites, 1969). In the following pages, I endeavor to examine what went right and what went wrong in the field and I attempt to articulate my vision for a vocational psychology that is part of mainstream psychology while reaching out to related specialties, including the sociology of occupations and human development. In the process, I also address the thorny issue of the relationship between science and profession, research and practice. The end result, I trust, will be an informative examination of some contrasting possible futures for the field of vocational psychology.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
My vision for vocational psychology is that it will become a truly life-spanoriented science and profession. Life-span developmental psychology would seem to offer the most comprehensive theoretical perspective for making this vision areality. There is little disagreement about the fact that vocational development has important antecedents in childhood and that it continues throughout adult life. A conceptual framework that covers the entire life span and articulates relationships of the developing person with the various levels of context would seem to perfectly suit the needs of vocational psychologists. Moreover, if used in the spirit of looking for similarities, agreements, and synergies, it would in no way prevent the use of other frameworks, such as social learning theory or various personality theories,as segmental theories. Without the life-span developmental metatheory umbrella,vocational psychology will continue to have great difficulties in trying to lay claim to expertise in vocational development across the life span; with it, the field can legitimately speak on issues related to the vocational development of children, adolescents, and adults of all ages.The second part of my vision is that vocational psychologists earn the right to speak authoritatively on all substantive questions dealing with the vocational development of children, adolescents, and adults by embracing a rigorous research agenda that asks important and consequential questions about the vocational development of individuals at all stages of life. In order to answer such questions, cutting-edge research methodologies would need to become everyday tools of the vocational psychology researcher. The establishment of a national agenda of research on vocational development, funded by such agencies as the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Education, and the Department of Labor, should be a top priority for vocational psychologists. It is difficult to envision how this can happen without the establishment of some highly visible graduate training opportunities in vocational psychology.The third part of my vision for vocational psychology is that practitioners be viewed as indispensable resources for all questions, issues, problems, and policies related to vocational development. Clearly, vocational psychologists already have a strong start in this area. They are already respected for their development of psychometrically sound and sophisticated assessment instruments for the measurement of career variables, and they can be found in the career centers of mostcolleges and universities. They do not typically serve the needs of children and young adolescents and they are rarely found in the nation’s secondary schools, where they could be employed as important resources. For example, they could serve as consultants on the design of educational materials, curricula, and programs designed to begin elimination of the sex-role stereotyping of occupations.They could be instrumental in designing strategies for reducing the predominance of women in some occupations and the predominance of men in others and the attendant problems created by such sex-based occupational stratification. In private practice, doctoral level, licensed (vocational) psychologists should be consulted routinely by women and men facing issues of career transitions, unemployment, or retirement.They should also be the principal resource for assisting individuals with the difficult choices involved in balancing the multiple responsibilities of home and work.Finally, I observe that the future of vocational psychology might depend on how well it can avoid building its reputation around “products that are inconsistent, unrelated, and mutually discrediting” (Staats, 1991, p. 910). To this end, the field of vocational psychology must articulate a clear and consistent mission to which most vocational psychologists must be willing to subscribe. The field must foster and cherish its relations to other subspecialties of psychology, integrating its research findings with those of other areas in order to produce a more coherent, cohesive body of knowledge that addresses every area of vocational development within the larger framework of life-span human development. Perhaps most importantly, the field of vocational psychology can thrive only when its members make a commitment to forego the common practice of mutual discrediting and focus instead on finding ways to weave different theoretical perspectives, and findings obtained with widely different methodologies, into a complementary whole that truly represents all of vocational psychology.