Time Perspective and Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy: A Longitudinal Examination Among Young Adult Students

Background

Settling on a career is a major developmental task for emerging adults (Arnett, 2014). Career decision-making self-efficacy (CDMSE; e.g., Taylor & Betz, 1983) is individuals’ beliefs regarding their ability to successfully accomplish certain tasks connected with their career choices. However, while some young adults will have more confidence in their ability to manage tasks associated with successful career choices, others will not. Some studies have suggested that CDMSE depends on time perspective (TP; Epel et al., 1999; Jung et al., 2015; Walker & Tracey, 2012). Nonetheless, these studies have focused primarily on future TP, since its positive effects on career development have been highly empirically supported. On the other hand, it has been suggested that present and past TPs account for several career decision-making difficulties and predispose individuals to career failure (Taber, 2013; Taber & Blankemeyer, 2015). However, the associations of future, present, and past TPs with CDMSE have not been fully examined yet, and individuals’ low CDMSE and its treatment remain unclear. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to examine the relations between different TPs and CDMSE in young adults.

Method

In total, 1,753 young Czechs participated in the online longitudinal study. For the present study, we selected only participants who were students and provided information on TPs, CDMSE, and sociodemographic characteristics (n = 492, M = 22.97 years, SD = 1.32, 82.9% women). The Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI; Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999; Czech version: Lukavská et al., 2011) was used to measure participants’ TPs. Participants’ CDMSE was assessed using the Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy Short Form (CDMSE-SF; Betz, Klein, & Taylor, 1996). We conducted a confirmatory factor analysis using structural equation modeling to test the unidimensional validity of our translated version CDMSE-SF, obtaining good fit indices.

Results

A multilevel regression analysis was performed, with gender, age, education, and SES introduced as covariates, and all Zimbardo TPs were included, as well as their interaction with time. The results of these analyses showed that past-negative, b = -.17, t(615.56) = -4.01, p < .001; future, b = .33, t(625.12) = 6.55, p < .001; present-hedonistic, b = .15, t(624.38) = 2.79, p = .01; and present-fatalistic TP, b = -.24, t(636.66) = -4.40, p < .001, were significant predictors of CDMSE. Interactions in the model showed that the interaction between time point (as a variable of time) with past-positive TP was significant, b = -.10, t(370.50) = -2.73, p = .01.

 

Conclusion

The present study is the first to examine the role of various TPs in the CDMSE in emerging adults. Our results revealed that future TP and present-hedonistic TP are positively related to CDMSE. Moreover, CDMSE was negatively associated with present-fatalistic TP and past-negative TP. These findings indicate that besides the beneficial effect of widely studied future TP, the negative role of past-negative and present-fatalistic TPs should be considered in connection with further studies on emerging adults‘ career development, as well as in career counseling.

Contact: kvaskova@fss.muni.cz

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