Effects of two career development programs on career maturity of seventh grade students

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of two career orientation and exploratory programs on the vocational maturity level of seventh grade students. Two independent variables involving type of program and length of program were manipulated by the researcher by using a 2 x 3 factorial design to analyze adjusted treatment effects upon the dependent variable of vocational maturity.

The experimental groups were composed of seventh grade students participating in the"Careers and You" and"Interest Block" programs, while the control group consisted of students in band and/or choir who did not receive instruction in either of the two treatment groups. The participants selected for the study were students from four junior high schools within the local school division. Each participant was pretested on both the Career Development Inventory and Career Maturity Inventory Attitude Scale test instruments. Results of the pretest mean scores for the groups indicated significant differences on the CMI Attitude Scale scores between the"Careers and You" and"Interest Block" groups. Inasmuch as the strength of the difference was small (R² = 0.04), valid posttest comparisons were felt to be statistically appropriate.

One-half of the participants in the three groups were posttested on the CDI and CMI Attitude Scale at an 18-week time interval, while the remaining participants were tested at the end of a 36-week interval. Posttest analysis was conducted using a two-way analysis of covariance, with the pretest scores being used as a covariate to adjust for group bias and to add sensitivity to the dependent variable measure.

Nine hypotheses were tested at alpha equals .05 with the following results:

The first six hypotheses dealt with comparisons among the three groups on the Total Scale of the CDI and the Attitude Scale of the CMI. Because the F values showed no significant group effect, hypotheses one through six failed to meet the rejection criteria.

Null hypotheses seven through nine pertained to effects of the length of program within the various groups. Results indicated by both the CDI and Attitude Scale of the CMI were not significant. Therefore, hypotheses seven through nine failed to meet the rejection criteria.