Stage order and dominance in adolescent vocational decision-making processes: An empirical test of the Tiedeman-O'Hara paradigm

David A. Jepsen, W. M. Grove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Multidimensional scaling procedures were applied to checklist measures of stages from O. V. Tiedeman and R. P. O'Hara Career development: Choice and adjustment, New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 1963, vocational decision-making paradigm. Responses from two high-school samples were analyzed in order to test the hypotheses that stages are ordered as theory predicted and that stages represent dominant psychological states. The stage order hypothesis was essentially supported by findings from scaling solutions applied to two 11th-grade and one ninth-grade sample. The important exception was that the last two stages were reversed. Apparently grade level was not the dimension on which stages unfolded. The stage dominance hypothesis was not supported by the evidence. Student responses were not predominantly associated with a single stage but rather were distributed over several stages. Both results were interpreted in terms of the theory and the instruments. A second conclusion was that metric unfolding is a useful method for analyzing cross-sectional data bearing on construct validity for ordered stage constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-251
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1981

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