The effects of group counseling for vocational choice upon adolescents' expressed occupational preference

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
LaMyra Highsmith Davis (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Naomi G. Albanese

Abstract: This study was undertaken to investigate (a) whether group counseling for vocational choice reduces the magnitude of the difference between vocational aspiration and vocational expectation and (b) whether one group counseling session would have a greater effect than none, whether two group counseling sessions would have a greater effect than one or none, and whether three group counseling sessions would have a greater effect than two, one, or none. The purposes of the study were to structure groups for vocational counseling so that the participants were given an opportunity for stating vocational aspirations and expectations prior to and after counseling, and to determine whether emphasis by qualified counselors on such vocational planning factors as interest, test scores, and occupational information would be worthwhile. Also, if these were found to be helpful, in what manner should they be stressed. Vocational realism was defined as the discrepancy between the expressed vocational aspiration and expressed vocational expectation. The extent of the difference was obtained by subtracting the assigned score for vocational expectation from the assigned score for vocational aspiration, Group counseling, for this study, was defined as a meeting of selected persons for specified periods of time, so that information could be presented which might influence individuals in their preferred occupational choices. The measures used weres General Aptitude Test Battery and Occupational Aptitude Patterns; Counseling Record and Control; the Estimate of Worker Trait Requirements; the Educational and Occupational Plans Questionnaire; the National Opinion Research Center--North-Hatt Socioeconomic Index of Occupations. Two preliminary studies, called Conditions I and II, were conducted to determine the exact procedures, tests to be used, and the length of time for group counseling sessions in the experimental phase of the study, called Condition III. The three conditions of the study took place in eight Guilford County, North Carolina, high schools over a two-year period of time. For Condition I, the subjects were 150 twelfth-grade boys and girls in four schools; for Condition II, the subjects were 190 twelfth-grade boys and girls in four other schools. In addition to determining the specific plans for Condition III, it was noted that a more realistic and positive attitude occurred in the vocational choices of subjects who participated in Condition II. The subjects for Condition III were 80 tenth-grade girls attending one of the schools involved in Condition I of the study. The General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB) was leased to that high school by the Employment Security Commission (ESC) for one year to be used in the present study. The high school counselor at that school was trained in the administration and interpretation of the GATB by the state department of the ESC. The author was the group counselor. At the time that the GATB was administered to the 80 subjects, 20 girls were randomly assigned to a group to receive no counseling. Sixty girls were assigned to the group to be counseled. One month after the test was administered, the 80 subjects met in a group to complete the Educational and Occupational Plans Questionnaire. Subsequently, the 60 subjects to be counseled were assigned to four treatment levels as follows; level I, no counseling (20 Ss)j level II, one hour of counseling (20 Ss)j level III, two hours of counseling (20 Ss); level IV, three hours of counseling (20 Ss). The subjects1 expressed occupational preferences were placed upon the N0RC scale to obtain a score for their vocational aspirations and a score for their vocational expectations. A discrepancy realism score was obtained prior to and following all counseling sessions. The pre-counseling and post-counseling scores were statistically analyzed by a specific comparison with adjusting (covariance), a special case of the orthogonal polynomial. The results of the statistical analysis of covariance indicated that realism between vocational aspirations and vocational expectations increased as the number of hours of group counseling increased. The direction of the significant linear trend was toward agreement between aspirations and expectations. Specific comparisons between the treatment levels of the experiment did not yield significant results when an analysis of the experimental data was made. However, the indicated significance of the linear function does infer that each level of group counseling had a greater effect than no group counseling upon the differences in vocational aspirations and vocational expectations. It is believed that the significant changes in the differences between expressed vocational aspirations and vocational expectations it are not a unique result of the particular circumstances of this study. The opportunity to explore differences in perception of occupationally related attitudes and values was made possible and changes in subjects' occupational choices were evidenced. It should be emphasized in regard to the findings of this study that adolescents' problems, occurring during the exploratory stage of development, in acquiring facts about occupations are compounded by the problems created by changes occurring in the purposes and meanings of work. Also, individual and cultural variations affect the adolescent's capacity to learn vocational skills and to acquire information and understanding necessary to weigh occupational alternatives.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1967
adolescent vocational choice, counseling
Youth $x Vocational guidance
Youth $x Counseling of
Group counseling
Vocational interests

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