The development and initial validation of a scale to assess career goal discrepancies
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Career goal discrepancy, which is at the heart of goal-oriented, career models of motivation and agency, is the perceived gap between an individual's career goal (i.e., future self or situation) and the progress being made toward achieving that goal (i.e., current self or situation). There are no existing scales that assess this construct. To progress research in this area, we devised a brief, 12-item measure suitable for use with young adults. Devising a scale for this population is appropriate, as young adulthood is the age when occupational goals and occupational goal progress are important foci. We generated initial items for four underlying domains of goal discrepancy (achievement, effort, ability, and standard discrepancy), had the items rated by experts, and then administered them to a large, diverse sample of young adults (N = 615, mean age 20.9 years). We reduced the number of items and tested the factor structure of the scale using exploratory factor analysis, confirmed the structure on a holdout sample using confirmatory factor analysis, and assessed construct validity by testing hypothesized relationships with existing measures (career goal commitment and career distress). Being able to assess discrepancy in the career domain will stimulate research into the career development of young adults and will allow practitioners to explore issues around career goal setting and adaptive responses to career setbacks.
Journal of Career Assessment
© 2015 SAGE Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Personality, Abilities and Assessment