Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the Career Choice Model based on SCCT among Iranian high school students. This model pays attention to the role of personal factors (self-efficacy and outcome expectations) and social factors (social barriers and social supports) in shaping the interests and occupational consideration. SCCT was developed to understand the processes that people form their interests, make choices, achieve performances of varying quality, and persist at academic and career relevant endeavors. Based on Bandura’s (1986) General Self-efficacy Theory and Hackett and Betz’s(1981) Career Self-efficacy Theory, SCCT focuses on interaction among person, environmental, and behavioral influences in academic and career development. Among personal variables, this theory emphasizes on the central role of self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and goals. SCCT is equally concerned with variables, such as environmental supports and barriers. Much of the extant SCCT research has operationalized the content of people's career interests or choices using RIASEC theme. Holland (1985, 1997) divides both people and environments into some combination of six interest domains. These six domains are hexagonally organized, and include Realistic (e.g., outdoors, mechanical), Investigative (e.g., science, math), Artistic (e.g., art, language), Social (e.g., helping, teaching), Enterprising (e.g., selling, business) and Conventional (e.g., details, clerical), collectively known as RIASEC. SCCT consists of four interrelated models of interest development, choice-making, performance, and satisfaction. Key variables in SCCT’s choice model include self-efficacy, outcome expectations, interests, environmental supports and barriers, and choice goals and actions. More research involving non-Western samples, collectivist cultures, and developing countries is needed.
Method: Through a cluster sampling method, 650 Iranian high school male students living in Isfahan , Iran were selected. Participants answered to the questions about self-efficacy, outcome expectations, interest and occupational consideration and social supports and barriers with regard to the Holland’s (1997) RIASEC themes: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. The present study examined the fit of the choice model(Lent et al., 1994), which incorporates the interest model(Lent et al., 1994) to the RIASEC themes and tested SCCT’s specific hypotheses that are (a) self-efficacy is predictive of outcome expectations; (b) self-efficacy and outcome expectations jointly predict interests; (c) self-efficacy and outcome expectations predict students’ choice consideration (goals), both directly and indirectly, through interests; and (d) social supports and barriers account for unique variance in choice consideration, above and beyond the other predictors. Also, it tested Bandura’s (1999, 2000) hypothesis that environmental supports and barriers are linked to choices indirectly through self-efficacy.
Findings: To examine the fit of model AMOS-16 was used. Results showed that integrated interest-choice model fitted the data well with regard to RIASEC themes. Indexes of CFI, GFI, AGFI, NFI, RMSEA were good for the model. Results showed that self-efficacy and outcome expectations jointly predict interests, and interests mediate the relations between self-efficacy and outcome expectations and occupational consideration. Social supports is related to occupational consideration indirectly (through self-efficacy) rather than directly unless in R type. In this study, there was a significant relationship between outcome expectations and interests to occupational consideration . However, the relationship between self-efficacy and occupational consideration was weak and non-significant. Results showed that interest did mediate the relations between self-efficacy and outcome expectations and occupational consideration with regard to the RIASEC themes, also between self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and interests. Findings showed the relationship between social supports and barriers to occupational consideration was small and non-significant with regard to the RIASEC themes.
Discussion: The fitness of this model in this study was good and it was similar to studies in Portugal (2010) and in Italy (2003) by Lent et al.. According to SCCT’s choice model hypotheses (Lent et al., 1994), self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and interests each relate directly to choice. In the present study, the relationship between outcome expectations and interests and occupational consideration was significant and was similar to the choice model hypotheses. However, the relationship between self-efficacy and occupational consideration was low and non-significant. SCCT’s choice model also specifies that interests partially mediate the relationship between self-efficacy and outcome expectations and choice. Results showed that interest did mediate the relationship between self-efficacy and outcome expectations and occupational consideration with regard to the RIASEC themes. In addition to self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and interests, SCCT assumes that environmental supports and barriers play important roles regarding choice goals. Findings of present study do not support these hypotheses and the relationship between social supports and barriers and occupational consideration was small and non-significant regarding the RIASEC themes. In the theory of Bandura (1999, 2000) it has been assumed that environmental factors are related to goals indirectly through self-efficacy. These findings showed that indirect relationship between social supports and self-efficacy was significant unless in R type and indirect relationship between social barriers and self-efficacy was non-significant. Therefore, Bandura hypothesis is partially supported. The implications of these findings for further research on the non-Western culture validity of SCCT can be considered. The base of research on SCCT is expanding across cultural and national (Kim, 2015; Falk, 2015; Lee et al., 2015; Lent et al., 2012; Lent & Sheu, 2010).