Theses Doctoral

Perceived Career Barriers: The Role of Ethnic Identity, Acculturation, and Self-Efficacy Mediators among Latina/o College Students

Mejia, Brenda Xiomara

Sociohistorical, sociopolitical and sociostructural barriers in American society create different paths in the college-to-work transition. Some individuals can follow their natural calling for a vocation, while others must contend with limited access to occupational opportunities. The emancipatory communitarian (EC) framework advocates for resisting and changing of structural barriers that hinder the career path of oppressed groups. Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) explains how sociocultural and background contextual factors interact with self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and career goals to shape career behavior. The present study investigated the relation of ethnic identity and acculturation to self-efficacy beliefs and outcome expectations by testing the validity of SCCT tenets with a sample of 357 Latina/o college students. An EC-SCCT framework was used to explore the relationships among ethnic identity, acculturation level, career decision self-efficacy, coping efficacy, and perceived barriers. The results of a modified path model demonstrated that, for this sample, career decision self-efficacy mediated the influence of ethnic identity and Anglo bicultural orientation on the perception of career barriers. The findings also point to the role of ethnic identity in augmenting Latina/o students' career decision self-efficacy and increasing awareness about career barriers (e.g., ethnic discrimination). The current study contributes to the literature promoting a liberational approach to vocational and counseling psychology theory, research, and practice. Limitations and implications for theory, research, training, and practice are discussed.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Counseling and Clinical Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Gushue, George V.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 1, 2011