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Decision Space Worksheet, the Career Thoughts Inventory, and the Beck Depression Inventory-II as Measures of Mental Health in the Career Decision-Making Process

Title: The Decision Space Worksheet, the Career Thoughts Inventory, and the Beck Depression Inventory-II as Measures of Mental Health in the Career Decision-Making Process.
Name(s): Solomon, Jennifer L. (Jennifer Lynn), author
Sampson, James, professor directing dissertation
Kistner, Janet, university representative
Peterson, Gary, committee member
Lenz, Janet, committee member
Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: At the outset of career counseling, clarifying the nature of an individual's career problem is vital in order to ascertain the appropriate initial steps of the career intervention (Sampson, Peterson, Reardon, & Lenz, 2000; Spokane, 1991). Identifying and assessing client needs at the beginning of the career service delivery process ensures that services are appropriately aligned with these needs (Gati, Gadassi, Saka, Hadadi, Ansenberg, Friedmann, & Asulin-Peretz, 1996; Sampson et al., 2000; Sampson & Reardon, 1998; Savickas, 1996; Super, 1983). During the initial client assessment it is also important to address mental health issues, as prior research has shown clients having difficulty making career decisions often endorse items such as depression or anxiety (Saunders, Peterson, Sampson, & Reardon, 2000). The Decision Space Worksheet (DSW) is a projective assessment technique that assists clients in understanding the social and emotional context involved in the career decision-making process. In addition, the DSW may also function as a possible indicator of mental health issues out of which a career problem arises (Peterson, Leasure, Carr, & Lenz, 2009). Utilizing the DSW, Career Thoughts Inventory (CTI), and Occupational Alternatives Question (OAQ) at the outset of career counseling could be useful in identifying individuals who are experiencing mental health issues (Lenz, Peterson, Reardon, & Saunders, 2010; Peterson et al., 2009; Walker & Peterson, 2011). This study examines the social and emotional context as portrayed by the DSW in addition to career thoughts and career decidedness as possible indicators of mental health issues in career counseling. Specifically, the question addressed by this study was, "What is the relationship between responses on the DSW and the presence of depressive symptomology?" To answer this question, data were collected for a co-relational study from a sample of 151 enrolled in 8 sections of an undergraduate general psychology course (PSY2012) or psychology of personal and social adjustment course (CLP1001) at a midsized city in a southeastern community college in the United States. No significant positive relationship was found between the DSW total score and the BDI-II score as well as between the respective DSW domains and the BDI-II score. However, there was a contradictory significant inverted relationship between the DSW domain Self-doubt and the BDI-II. Contrary to expectation, Self-doubt statements were negatively associated with depression. The best predictors of depression were found to be the CTI subscales External Conflict (EC) and Commitment Anxiety (CA). There were no significant differences between high and low groups on the BDI-II and DSW responses and no significant differences between the OAQ decided and undecided groups and DSW responses. These findings contribute to the understanding of the DSW's value in assessing the social and emotional context for individuals as they relate to mental health issues, such as depression. Suggestions for modification of the DSW to capture the positive, neutral, or negative value of each statement were provided. The findings of this study implicate other CTI subscales (EC and CA) as significantly capturing unique variation in depression. In addition, these findings support the relationship among the overall CTI and BDI-II scores. Lastly, this study suggests that in non-client populations, who elicit statements on the DSW Self-doubt domain, are less likely to be depressed. Implications for the use of the DSW in non-client populations and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-5193 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2011.
Date of Defense: October 31, 2011.
Keywords: Career Decision-Making, Career Thoughts Inventory, Decision Space Worksheet, Depression, Mental Health
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: James Sampson, Professor Directing Dissertation; Janet Kistner, University Representative; Gary Peterson, Committee Member; Janet Lenz, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Educational psychology
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Host Institution: FSU

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Solomon, J. L. (J. L. ). (2011). The Decision Space Worksheet, the Career Thoughts Inventory, and the Beck Depression Inventory-II as Measures of Mental Health in the Career Decision-Making Process. Retrieved from