Career preparedness and school achievement of Portuguese children: longitudinal trend articulations

Íris M. Oliveira, Maria do Céu Taveira, Erik J. Porfeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social Cognitive Career Theory suggests that students’ preparedness for theschool-to-work transition is a developmental process. Middle school children explorevarious careers, obtain feedback about their academic progress, and developcareer self-efficacy and outcome expectations. These processes advance provisionaleducational/occupational goals. The literature has suggested articulations betweencareer and academic development and how both vary across demographiccharacteristics, but longitudinal studies linking these processes are scarce. Thisstudy tested articulations between career preparedness and academic achievementduring middle school years and employed gender and geographical location aspotential moderators affecting the linkage between career and school domains.Participants included 429 children (47.8% girls) from northern (69.5%) and centralPortugal (30.5%) followed across four occasions of measurement (MageWave1 = 10.23,SD = 0.50). Data was collected with school records, the Multidimensional Scales ofPerceived Self-Efficacy, Career Exploratory Outcome Expectations Scale, ChildhoodCareer Exploration Inventory and Childhood Career Development Scale. Average andorthnormalized linear, quadratic and cubic trends were computed. Pearson correlationcoefficients suggested positive and statistically significant associations between careerexploratory outcome expectations and academic achievement average trends. Careerplanning and self-efficacy expectations were negatively associated with academicachievement quadratic trends. Multiple linear regression models suggested that careerexploratory outcome expectations and career planning were respectively statisticallysignificant predictors of the average and quadratic trends of academic achievement. Gender moderated the association between the career variables and academicachievement linear trends as well as the relation of career planning and self-efficacy withacademic achievement cubic trends. Additionally, the geographical location moderatedthe association between the average trend of career exploratory outcome expectationsand academic achievement as well as tended to moderate the relation between thecareer variables and academic achievement quadratic trends. Future research couldseek to explore the role of context in shaping the trajectories and linkages betweencareer and academic progress with a more representative sample of participants from a broader array of geographical locations. This study advances extant literature by affirmingthe longitudinal relationship between the school and work domains in youth, whichmight sustain practices aimed at fostering students’ career preparedness and academicachievement.
Original languageEnglish
Article number618
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume8
Issue numberAPR
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Career preparedness
  • Career development
  • School achievement
  • Childhood
  • Trend

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