The Role of Family Context in a Social Cognitive Model for Career-Related Choice Behavior: A Math and Science Perspective
This study applied causal modeling techniques to the Lent, Brown, and Hackett (1994) model of person, contextual, and experiential factors affecting career-related choice behavior. The effects of family context and person input variables on learning experiences, self-efficacy, outcome expectancies, interests, and goals were examined. Data on undergraduate students (n = 791) enrolled in psychology classes at two universities were collected. Results based on a revised path model provided empirical validation of the Lent et al. (1994) model for this college student population. As a family background context variable, parental encouragement was found to have significant direct effects on learning experiences (grades in math and science) and outcome expectancies. Significant direct effects were also found between gender and learning experiences and age and learning experiences. In turn, learning experiences were found to directly influence self-efficacy and outcome expectancies, while self-efficacy and outcome expectancies were both directly related to interests and goals. Self-efficacy also had a significant direct effect on outcome expectancies and interests had a significant direct effect on goals.