The Influence of Career Beliefs and Socio-Economic Status on the Career Decision-Making of High School Students in India

  • Gideon Arulmani
  • Darren van Laar
  • Simon Easton


This paper responds to current discussions in career psychology that emphasise the importance of understanding how socio-economic backgrounds and social-cognitive environments influence career development. Located in India, this study examines the interaction between career beliefs and socio-economic status within a sample of Indian high school students. Significant socio-economic status differences were observed, with the lower SES groups showing higher levels of negative career beliefs. The relevance of these findings to career psychologists who work in multi cultural contexts is discussed within the framework of the Social Cognitive Theories of Career Decision Making.


High School Student Career Development Social Cognitive Theory Social Learn Theory Career Guidance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arulmani, G. (2000). Mindsets and career choices: An intervention study for boys from low socio-economic status backgrounds. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Portsmouth, England.Google Scholar
  2. Arulmani, G., & Nag-Arulmani, S. (in press). Career counselling: A handbook. Bangalore, India: Tata McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  3. Arulmani, G., Van Laar, D., & Easton, S. (2001). Career planning orientations of Indian high school boys: A study of socio-economic and social cognitive variables. Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, 27, 7-17.Google Scholar
  4. Arulmani, G., Van Laar, D., & Easton, S. (in press). Development and initial validation of the Career Belief Patterns Scale. Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology.Google Scholar
  5. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. New Jersey: Englewood Cliffs.Google Scholar
  6. Bhatnagar, A., & Gupta, N. (1999). Guidance and counselling: A practical approach (Vol. 2). New Delhi, India: Vikas Publishing House.Google Scholar
  7. Chandra, S. (1997). Problems and issues of child labour in India. Social Change, 27, 3-4.Google Scholar
  8. Chartrand, M.J., & Rose, L.M. (1996). Career interventions for at-risk populations: Incorporating social cognitive influences. The Career Development Quarterly, 44(4), 341-353.Google Scholar
  9. Desai, G., & Whiteside, T. (2000). Vocational higher secondary education graduates in the state of Gujarat. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 52(1), 49-61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fouad, A.N., & Brown, T.M. (2000). Role of race and social class in development: Implications for counselling psychology. In D.S. Brown & W.R. Lent (Eds.), Handbook of counseling psychology (3rd ed., pp. 379-407). New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Harmon, L.W. (1994). Frustrations, daydreams and realities of theoretical convergence. In M.L. Savikas & R.W. Lent (Eds.), Convergence in career development theories (pp. 225- 234). Palo Alto: CPP Books.Google Scholar
  12. Ilaiah, K. (1994). Caste and contradictions. Economic and Political Weekly, 29(43), 2835- 2836.Google Scholar
  13. Jhaj, D.S., & Grewal, J.S. (1976). A study of occupational aspirations and socio-economic status of advantaged and disadvantaged children. Indian Journal of Applied Psychology, 13(2), 70-13.Google Scholar
  14. Kapoor, S.D., & Singh, R.N. (1998). Socio-economic status questionnaire. New Delhi, India: The Psycho-Centre.Google Scholar
  15. Krumboltz, J.D. (1979). A social learning theory of career decision making. In A.M. Mitchell, G.B. Jones & J.D. Krumboltz (Eds.), Social learning and career decision making (pp. 19- 49). Rhode Island: Carroll Press.Google Scholar
  16. Krumboltz, J.D. (1994). Improving career development theory from a social learning theory perspective. In M.L. Savikas & R.W. Lent (Eds.), Convergence in career development theories: Implications for science and practice (pp. 9-31). Palo Alto: CPP Books.Google Scholar
  17. Krumboltz, J.D., & Nichols, C.W. (1990). Integrating the social learning theory of career decision making. In W.B. Walsh & S.H. Osipow (Eds.), Career counselling: Contemporary topics in vocational psychology (pp. 159-192). Hillsdale: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  18. Kuppuswamy, B. (1959). A scale to measure socio-economic status. Indian Journal of Psychology, 34(1), 1-10.Google Scholar
  19. Lent, R.W., & Brown, S.D. (1996). Social cognitive approach to career development: An overview. Career Development Quarterly, 44, 310-321.Google Scholar
  20. Lent, R.W., Brown, S.D., & Hackett, G. (1994). Toward a unifying social cognitive theory of career and academic interest, choices, and performance. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 45, 79-122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lightbody, P., Nicholson, S., Siann, G., & Walsh, D. (1997). Arespectable job: factors which influence young Asians' choice of career. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 25(1), 67-79.Google Scholar
  22. Misra, G., & Jain, U. (1988). Achievement cognitions in deprived groups: An attributional analysis. Indian Journal of Current Psychological Research, 3(1), 45-54.Google Scholar
  23. Misra, G., & Misra, S. (1986). Effect of socio-economic background on pupils' attributions. Indian Journal of Current Psychological Research, 1(2), 77-88.Google Scholar
  24. Mitchell, A.M., Jones, G.B., & Krumboltz, J.D. (1979). Social learning theory of career guidance. Rhode Island: Carroll Press.Google Scholar
  25. Naylor, F.D., & Krumboltz, J.D. (1994). The independence of aptitudes, interests and career beliefs. Career Development Quarterly, 43(2), 152-160.Google Scholar
  26. Ojha, J.M. (1996). Mental health of working children and their needs. In A.S. Kohi (Ed.), Research in social welfare (Vol. 1) (pp. 15-25). New Delhi, India: Anmol Publications.Google Scholar
  27. Richardson, S.M. (1993). Work in people's lives: A location for counselling psychologists. Journal Counselling Psychology, 40(4), 425-433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Siann, G., Lightboy, P., Nicholson, S., Tait, L., & Walsh, D. (1998). Talking about subject choice at secondary school and career aspirations: Conversations with students of Chinese background. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 26(2), 195-207.Google Scholar
  29. Srivastava, P.G. (1991). Socio-economic status scale - Urban. Agra, India: National Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  30. Tang, M., Fouad, N.A., & Smith, P.L. (1999). Asian Americans' career choices: A path model to examine factors influencing their career choices. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 54(1), 142-157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wilgosh, L., & Mueller, H.H. (1993).Work skills for disadvantaged and unprepared youth and adults. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 16, 99-105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gideon Arulmani
    • 1
  • Darren van Laar
    • 2
  • Simon Easton
    • 2
  1. 1.The Promise FoundationBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.University of PortsmouthUK

Personalised recommendations