Contributors to college women's career decision-making self -efficacy: Support, barriers, and coping

Cynthia Anne Crespin, Fordham University


While over half of the American work-force is female, women continue to face unique barriers to their career development including sexism, the glass ceiling, lower salaries than men, exclusion from the old boys' network, invisibility, and sexual harassment. Moreover, substantial gender gaps in career achievement continue to exist. For example, women are still significantly underrepresented in leadership roles as well as math and science related career fields. Consequently, it is important to elucidate factors that may promote women's career development and minimize barriers and gender inequity. Because women have special career needs and concerns, college-age females in the process of career preparation and exploration are a vital population to study. Consequently, this study focused on variables potentially related to college women's career decision-making self-efficacy (CDMSE). Specifically, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated to test hypotheses regarding anticipated relationships between women's social support, perception of educational barriers, and coping efficacy. As predicted, social support was found to have a significant and positive relationship with coping efficacy, while barriers were found to have a significant and inverse relationship with coping. Three separate hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to test additional hypotheses. As predicted, coping efficacy and social support had positive relationships with CDMSE, while perception of educational barriers had an inverse relationship with CDMSE. Coping efficacy, social support, and perception of educational barriers were each found to be a significant, individual predictor of college women's CDMSE. The present study also provided a discussion of its research findings in light of the current literature, as well as study limitations, implications for practice, and recommendations for further research. It is hoped that the current research findings, as well as those of future studies, will be utilized to enhance career services for women.

Subject Area

Cognitive therapy|Psychotherapy

Recommended Citation

Crespin, Cynthia Anne, "Contributors to college women's career decision-making self -efficacy: Support, barriers, and coping" (2006). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3210262.