Career decision-making self-efficacy and institutional integration of underprepared college students

Shari L. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


This investigation applied, as the theoretical base, a model of student persistence and departure (Tinto, 1987) to explore the nature of the relationship between career decision-making self-efficacy and integration. Career decision-making self-efficacy identifies students' perceived confidence (self-efficacy) in their ability to plan and execute vocationally relevant tasks in the educational environment. The sample comprised 418 underprepared students. Data were analyzed using correlation, analysis of variance, and multiple regression. There is an interrelationship between perceived career decision-making self-efficacy and integration (overall, social, and academic) for underprepared college students. The variance in students' integration can be explained by their career decision-making self-efficacy and by their initial goals and commitments. Career decision-making self-efficacy surpassed all other variables in explaining the variance in overall and academic integration. Based on these research results, career decision-making self-efficacy should be considered as a variable in future studies of integration, a longitudinal study should be conducted to determine the direct relationship of career decision-making self-efficacy to persistence and attrition, and if a relationship to persistence is found, then the rationale exists for the design and experimental testing of interventions aimed at increasing career decision-making self-efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-685
Number of pages27
JournalResearch in Higher Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1993
Externally publishedYes


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