Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Vocational identity and well-being among diverse, upper-division health science undergraduates in the United States
by Donlin, Ayla A., D.Ed., California State University, Long Beach, 2014, 250; 3584961
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine, from a constructivist career development perspective, the factors of well-being and vocational identity that emerged among a diverse sample of upper-division undergraduate students. This study also examined which factors of vocational identity predicted well-being and which factors of well-being predicted vocational identity. Participants included 411 diverse, upper-division health science students from a public university in Southern California. The first two research questions that guided this study were designed to explore emergent factors of well-being and vocational identity using items from the PERMA Well-Being Profiler (PERMA) and the Vocational Identity Status Assessment. The final two research questions were designed to examine the best predictors of well-being among the factors of vocational identity and the best predictors of vocational identity among the factors of well-being. To address the research questions, data obtained from surveys was analyzed using exploratory factor analysis and multiple linear regression analysis.

The findings of this study demonstrated that PERMA theory and Vocational Identity Status theory explained the constructs of well-being and vocational identity among the diverse sample with few exceptions. Further, the PERMA and VISA instruments proved valid and reliable among the diverse sample. In-depth career exploration, identification with career commitment, and career self-doubt were the vocational identity factors that best predicted well-being. Meaning, accomplishment, and engagement were the well-being factors that best predicted vocational identity.

Recommendations based on the findings of this study included revisiting performance based funding policies to incorporate the measurement of well-being and vocational identity as metrics of student success alongside more objective measures like retention, GPA, and time to graduation. Further, recommendations were offered for integrating well-being and vocational identity enhancing activities and interventions into current practices in classroom, counseling, and advising settings. Recommendations for qualitative, experimental, and longitudinal research designs were offered based on the findings of this study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Haviland, Don
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Counseling Psychology, Health education, Higher education, Vocational education
Keywords: Career development, Counseling, Health science, Mentoring, Vocational identity, Well-being
Publication Number: 3584961
ISBN: 978-1-303-99114-1
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