The Impact of Social Support on Career Decision-making: The Role of Relational Self-concept

Open Access
Li, Yaoshan Ivy
Graduate Program:
Counselor Education
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
July 31, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Richard Hazler, Dissertation Advisor
  • Jerry G Trusty, Committee Member
  • Jeffrey Garis, Committee Member
  • Emily Kate Greenman, Committee Member
  • Relational Self-Concept
  • Career Decision-Making
  • Social Support
The study examined how individual's relational self-concept impacts the influence of social support on career decision-making difficulties. Career decision-making difficulties were categorized into Lack of Readiness, Lack of Information, and Inconsistent Information using Gati and colleagues' classification. Participants are 352 undergraduate students who completed the research surveys in-class or online. Regression models of Lack of Readiness and Lack of Information supported the hypothesis that relational self-concept moderates the influence of social support on career decision-making difficulties. For those with high relational self-concept, the more social support they perceived, the less career decision-making difficulties they encountered. On the other hand, social support was not related to career decision-making difficulties for those with low relational self-concept. Regression model of Lack of Readiness was not supported as hypothesized, which may due to low reliability of the instrumental and the nature of Lack of Readiness. The study offers evidence of the significant impact of social support on career decision-making and the crucial role of relational self-concept that regulates the relationship. Implications of how to assist young adults' career decision-making from the relational and contextual perspectives are discussed, along with suggestions for future research.