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Our Journal’s second issue of volume 13 contains four very different contributions, from three different continents; three are empirical studies and one offers a literature review. The first contribution describes the impact of capability beliefs, time perspectives, and career consciousness on job search intention and progress in a large sample of Japanese irregular employee. The second contribution studied how personal and contextual characteristics might moderate the relationship between goal disengagement and goal engagement, in two samples of Australian university students. The third contribution evaluated the mediator impact of anxiety and self-esteem on the relationship between family communication and indecisiveness in a sample of Italian pupils. Finally, the last contribution presents a literature review about the relationship between career guidance and public mental health.
In the first contribution, “Job search motivation of part-time or unemployed Japanese college graduates,” Toshiaki Shirai, Hideo Shimomura, Tomotsugu Kawasaki, Tomoko Adachi, and Yosuke Wakamatsu have studied the power of prediction of capability beliefs, time perspective (attitude towards the past, the present in terms of fulfillment, and the future in terms of hope), and career consciousness, on job search intention and progress. A series of hierarchical regressions allowed them to show that over demographic variables these variables contribute all to predict job search and that job search intention was predicted by capability beliefs and career consciousness. These results confirm the impact of process variable such as self-efficacy and personal characteristics such as personality or demographic characteristics on proactive career related behaviors. The negative relationship between hope and fulfillment, they observed, seems to be in contradiction with the relationship observed between optimism and job search behaviors by others (Vansteenkiste, Lens, Dewitte, De Witte, & Deci, 2004). This apparent contradiction suggests that more studies should be done in order to compare the respective role of optimism and hope. Moreover, a possible non-linear relationship between these variables could also be investigated more in details.
The second contribution “Facilitating engagement in new career goals: The moderating effects of personal resources and career actions” by Anna Praskova, Peter A. Creed, and Michelle Hood presents two studies investigating the moderating effects of general personal characteristics and career adaptive variables on the relationship between goal disengagement and engagement. As expected, goal disengagement allows people to identify and engage in new career goals. The authors of this contribution observed that core self-evaluation and life satisfaction moderate the relationship between disengagement and engagement, the relationship being stronger for people scoring high on core self-evaluation or subjective well-being. Moreover all career adaptive variables had a strong moderating impact with no clear relation between disengagement and engagement for people low on career planning, self-exploration, environment exploration, and self-efficacy, but with a strong relation for people high on these four variables. The two studies of that contribution show the complexity of the relationship between goal disengagement and engagement. These results were obtained in a quite homogeneous sample of Australian students. For this reason, it would be interesting to further study these complex relationships in different environments, taking the context or the perceived context also into account, and within a more representative population. Finally, how goal adjustment evolve through time, especially during a career transition, would also be interesting to study.
In the third article, “Anxiety and self-esteem as mediators of the relation between family communication and indecisiveness in adolescence,” Valentina Lo Cascio, Giovanni Guzzo, Francesco Pace, and Ugo Pace presented how personal variables can mediate the impact of socio-contextual variable upon career indecisiveness in a large sample of Italian pupils. More precisely, the adolescents’ perception of the quality of the communication among the members of their family was positively associated with decisiveness and this relationship was entire mediated by the adolescent’s anxiety and self-esteem. In brief, high quality family communication would increase the adolescent’s self-esteem and lower his anxiety that would in turn increase his decisiveness, and inversely. According to these results, increasing family communication quality might have a positive impact on indecisiveness. However indecisiveness might also have an impact on the mediators considered in this study. Thus, the overall model might even be more complex with some feedback loops. To further study these relationships and to determine more precisely the causality, a longitudinal and multi-method design might certainly be advisable. However, this study confirms the importance of the familial context to understand vocational and career choices (Wong, Wong, & Peng, 2011).
In the last contribution, “Career guidance and public mental health,” Peter Robertson presents a series of arguments indicating that career interventions might certainly have a positive impact on public mental health, by promoting social and professional integration, and increasing peoples career adaptive resources. The authors suggest that health outcomes of career interventions should be studied with much more attention and that these interventions might contribute promoting population’s wellbeing. This assumption is actually in line with the results of our own work on the effectiveness of career counseling and its short- and long-term impact on life-satisfaction (Perdrix, Stauffer, Masdonati, Massoudi, & Rossier, 2012). Future studies about the impact of career guidance on mental health should use a diversity of methodological approaches, and in particular narrative or qualitative approaches (Stead, Perry, Munka, Bonnett, Shiban, & Care, 2012). Finally, these results might be useful to convince policy makers about the potential contribution of career intervention to mental health.
The studies of this issue have interesting practical implications related to job-search behaviors, career goal engagement, or decisiveness. Moreover, several interesting ideas for future research were also mentioned, in particular concerning the impact of career interventions on mental health and well-being. We hope that you will find a number of new and interesting insights in this issue which will contribute to your own professional development. We wish you a pleasant reading in the hope that this issue will stimulate your own thoughts and lead to other contributions to our Journal.
- Stead, G. B., Perry, J. C., Munka, L. M., Bonnett, H. R., Shiban, A. P., & Care, E. (2012). Qualitative research in career development: Content analysis from 1990 to 2009. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 12, 105–122. doi: 10.1007/s10775-011-9196-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar