Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 409–426 | Cite as

Relieving career anxiety and indecision: the role of undergraduate students’ perceived control and faculty affiliations

  • Lia M. DanielsEmail author
  • Tara L. Stewart
  • Robert H. Stupnisky
  • Raymond P. Perry
  • Tatiana LoVerso


As educators and mentors, we often focus on helping undergraduate students make career decisions. However, there is also value in helping alleviate career anxiety and indecision, both of which impede decision-making and are not automatically resolved once a decision is made. This research examined the role of individual differences (age, gender, and perceived control) and learning environment variables (year in university, participation in an orientation program, and faculty affiliations) as predictors of undergraduates’ (n = 844) career-related anxiety and indecision. Traditional individual difference variables like age and gender had little effect whereas perceived control (primary and secondary) predicted lower levels of career anxiety and indecision. The outcomes were not influenced by environmental factors such as year in university or completion of an orientation program, but students’ self-reported faculty affiliation had significant effects. Students who were not affiliated with any specific faculty reported more indecision than students in arts, science, and professional faculties. Likewise, students in professional faculties had less career anxiety and career indecision than arts students. The implications of these results for potential interventions and future research are discussed.


Perceived control Career anxiety Career indecision Faculty affiliation College students 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lia M. Daniels
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tara L. Stewart
    • 2
  • Robert H. Stupnisky
    • 3
  • Raymond P. Perry
    • 2
  • Tatiana LoVerso
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Department of Teaching and Learning, Higher Education ProgramUniversity of North DakotaGrand ForksUSA

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