Influence of perfectionism on career decision self-efficacy and vocational outcome expectation among Asian American college students
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] In this study, Social Cognitive Career theory (SCCT; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994; 2000) was the conceptual framework to understand Asian American students' career development process that incorporates cultural (person and contextual level). Due to the strong cultural emphasis on family obligations for achievement in academic and vocational realms, perfectionism is a salient construct among Asian American students (Chao & Tseng, 2002) and thus was included to explore its influence on Asian American students' career decision self-efficacy and vocational outcome expectations. The relationships among the study variables were explored through structural equation modeling analysis. As expected, a positive relationship between adaptive aspect of perfectionism and career variables (i.e., career decision self-efficacy and vocational outcome expectations) was found. This is in line with Asian culture in which there is the tendency to set high standards and strive to reach that standard to honor the family (Wang, 2010). Also, consistent with expectations, a negative association of maladaptive perfectionism on career decision self-efficacy and vocational outcome expectations was found. Career decision self-efficacy and vocational outcome expectations play a crucial role for successful career performance and outcomes (e.g., Gysbers, Heppner, & Johnson, 1998; Kim, 2000; Swanson & Woitke, 1997). Some studies in the past have focused on only the negative aspect of perfectionism (Blatt, 1995), limiting and invalidating its importance in certain cultures. However, considering these significant implications of career decision self-efficacy and vocational outcome expectations on career outcomes, the study's results suggest that it is important for career counselors and psychologists to intervene to increase adaptive perfectionism and lower maladaptive perfectionism. The research model was significant even after acculturation and enculturation were controlled, which was previously considered to be major constructs influencing Asian American students' career development. So the findings present a new aspect of understanding Asian American students' career development process, stressing the importance of perfectionism among this group of students. Suggestions for future research directions, clinical implications, and limitations are further provided.
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