Career Decision-Making
Difficulties:
Assessment and Treatment
Itamar Gati
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Today’s Presentation

Presenting a model and means for
locating career decision-making difficulties
of individuals

Presenting possible treatment of the
difficulties
2
Parsons (1908)
Zytowski (2008)
3
Indeed, it is difficult
to make career decisions:

Quantity of Information:
often large N of alternatives and factors, within-occupation
variance  information is practically unlimited

Quality of Information:
soft, subjective, fuzzy, inaccurate, biased

Uncertainty about:

Non-Cognitive Factors:
the individual’s future preferences, future career options,
unpredictable changes and opportunities, the probability of
implementing choice
emotional and personality-related factors, the necessity for
compromise, actual or perceived social barriers and biases

Lack of knowledge about the process is among the
prevalent difficulties
4
CDM Difficulties of 15,000 surfers
on the Future Directions website
(Gati & Meyers, 2003)

Are you experiencing difficulties in making
your career decision?
60%
40%
20%
0%
yes
somewhat
no
5
Assessing clients’ needs involves

Locating the focuses of the client’s career
decision-making difficulties

Appraising the degree to which the client’s
preferences are crystallized

Assessing the client’s decision-making status

Acknowledging the client’s career decisionmaking profile (pattern, style):
Interventions aimed at facilitating career decision making
should be tailored to the client’s career decision-making
profile (pattern, style)
6
Career Decision-Making Difficulties

The first step in helping individuals is to locate
the focuses of the difficulties they face in making
career decisions

Gati, Krausz, and Osipow (1996) proposed a
taxonomy for describing the difficulties (see next
slide), based on:
 the
stage in the decision-making process during
which the difficulties typically arise
 the
similarity between the sources of the difficulties
 the
effects that the difficulties may have on the
process and the relevant type of intervention
7
Locating the Focuses of Career DecisionMaking Difficulties (Gati, Krausz, & Osipow, 1996)
During the Process
Prior to
Engaging in the
Process
Lack of Readiness
due to
Lack of
Indecimotivation siveness
Lack of Information
about
Dysfunc- Cdm Self Occupations
tional process
beliefs
Ways of
obtaining
info.
Inconsistent
Information due to
Unreliable Internal
Info.
conflicts
External
conflicts
8
Empirical Structure of
CDM Difficulties (N = 10,000)
Lack of motivation
General indecisiveness
Dysfunctional beliefs
Lack of info. about self
Lack of info about process
LoI about occupations
LoI about addition sources of help
Unreliable Information
Internal conflicts
External conflicts
9
Difficulties Arising prior to
Beginning Process
Lack of Readiness

Lack of motivation – a lack of willingness to
make a decision at a certain point in time

General Indecisiveness (negative perceptions
of self, anxiety related to the decision-making
process, diffused self-concept and identity)

Dysfunctional Beliefs – a distorted perception
of the career decision-making process, irrational
expectations, dysfunctional thoughts
10
Difficulties Arising during the
Process
Lack of Information

About the Decision Making Process how to make a decision wisely and the
specific steps involved in the process

About the Self (preferences, abilities)

About Occupations (alternatives, their
characteristics)

About Ways of Obtaining Information
11
Difficulties Arising during the
Process
Inconsistent Information

Unreliable Information – stems from
contradictory information about the individual or
about considered occupations

Internal Conflicts – among alternatives, among
factors considered, between an alternative and a
preferred characteristics, difficulty in
compromising

External Conflicts –between the individual’s
preferences and the preferences voiced by
significant others
12
The Career Decision-Making
Difficulties Questionnaire (CDDQ)

The CDDQ was developed
- to test this taxonomy
and
- to serve as a means for assessing
individuals’ career decision-making
difficulties

Cronbach Alpha internal consistency
estimate: .93-.95 for the total CDDQ score
13
www.cddq.org
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
The Four Stages of Interpretation
1.
Ascertaining Credibility, using validity items and the
time required to fill out the questionnaire
2.
Estimating Differentiation based on the standard
deviation of the 10 difficulty-scale scores
3.
Locating the salient, moderate, or negligible
difficulties, based on the individual's absolute and
relative scale scores
4.
Determining the confidence in the feedback
and the need to add reservations to it
(based on doubtful credibility, partial differentiation, or low
informativeness)
22
Distribution of types of feedback in
the four groups
100%
90%
80%
feedback
add reservation
70%
60%
50%
no feedback
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
P&P
Internet
Hebrew
P&P
Internet
English
23
Among the salient difficulties is
“lack of information about the
career decision-making process”
The Distribution of the Three Levels of Difficulties (negligible, moderate,
salient difficulty) in the Ten Difficulty Categories and the Four Groups
(N = 6192; H-Hebrew, E-English, p-paper and pencil, I-Internet)
salient difficulty
moderate difficulty
no difficulty
100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
H
H
E
E
H
H
E
E
H
H
E
E
H
H
E
E
H
H
E
E
H
H
E
E
H
H
E
E
H
H
E
E
H
H
E
E
H
H
E
E
0%
p I p I p Ip I p I p I p Ip I p I p I p I p I p Ip I p I p I p Ip I p I p I
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
24
Research Findings




Osipow and Gati (1998) - American students
(n=403)
The correlation between the CDDQ and the CDS
was = .77
The correlation between the CDDQ and the
CDMSE was negative, as expected, r = -.50
The total CDDQ scores of students who had not
yet made a decision were noticeably higher than
the scores of students who had already made a
decision.
25
Gati, Osipow, Krausz, and Saka (1998)
95 pairs of counselors - counselees


The median correlation between the
counselor’s judgments and the
counselee’s self-reports in the 10
difficulty categories of the CDDQ was .49
(range .27 -- .67).
The lowest agreement was in the
difficulty categories involving a lack of
information
26
Lancaster, Rudolf, Perkins, and
Paten (1999)

The correlation between the total CDDQ
score and the CDS was = .82
27
A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Good fit of the empirical data to the theoretical
structure was found across cultures

The structure of difficulties is similar as well
across cultures

Much variance is found among individuals in
each group; only a little variance in career
decision-making difficulties is attributable to
cultural differences
28
CDDQ’s 3 Major Clusters by Area
9
Readiness
Lack of Information
Inconsistent Information
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
North
America
Israel
Middle
East
Australia
Far East
29
Differences in the CDDQ Means between
Canadian and Israeli Career Counselees (r =.98)
Israeli counselees
Canadian counselees
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
30
The CDDQ can be used for:

Initial screening of clients (e.g., in terms of
the 3 major categories or the 10 difficulty
categories) and directing them to various
interventions (face-to-face, Internet-based
guidance systems)

Locating the focuses of clients’ career
decision-making difficulties (“needs assessment”)

Evaluating the effectiveness of career
interventions (e.g., before/ after)
31
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Level of difficulty
Client A (#193)
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
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Scale
32
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Level of difficulty
Client B (#615)
8
7
6
5
4
3
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Scale
33
Locating the Focuses of Clients’
Career Decision-Making Difficulties


Client B (#615) is an 18-year-old Caucasian
woman who is a business school freshman.
Her CDDQ results showed the following
salience:

general indecisiveness, ways of obtaining
information.
 dysfunctional beliefs, lack of information about the
CDM process, the self and occupations, unreliable
information, internal conflicts
 lack of motivation, external conflicts,
(Gati & Amir, 2010)
34
Testing the effectiveness of intervention:
MBCD’s Effect (Cohen’s d) on Reducing
Career Decision-Making Difficulties
(Gati, Saka, & Krausz, 2003)
0.8
0.72
0.65
d
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.31
0.3
0.2
0.11
0.1
0
Lack of
Readiness
Lack of
Information
Inconsistent
Information
Total CDDQ
35
Implications for counseling



Interpretive feedback provides an initial
diagnosis of the client’s difficulties and needs
and facilitates focusing on those that most
deserve attention and intervention.
Filling out the CDDQ again after a while can be
used to test the effectiveness of the intervention.
It is crucial for Internet-based assessment of
career decision-making difficulties, where no
expert counselor is available.
36
Designing Interventions Based on the
Taxonomy: An example
Tina Sirois-LeBlanc & Jeffrey Landine, University of New
Brunswick, Counselling Services
http://www.natcon.org/natcon/papers/natcon_papers_2005_
e12.pdf
From the Conclusions:
“This paper outlined the process taken by UNB Counselling
Services in changing its existing career counselling
model… to an enhanced developmental model, which
included a screening career assessment (CDDQ), the
initial interview, and additional services offered through
workshops. The workshops were developed based on the
theoretical framework of the CDDQ, which takes into
account key developmental tasks in career decisionmaking. Students are referred to relevant workshops
according to their reported career difficulties identified by
the CDDQ…”
37
Assessment of Career DecisionMaking Difficulties involves:

Measuring the difficulties

computing the 10 difficulty scale scores
 computing the 3 major cluster scores
 computing the total CDDQ score

Interpreting the Client’s difficulty profile
salient
locating
, moderate, or
negligible difficulties
 evaluate confidence of interpretation

38
The Next Step:
Treating the Difficulties

Difficulties differ in:

their sources (cognitive, emotional)
 severity
 Implications (length of intervention, prevents
making decisions or leads to a non-optimal one)

Based on these

order of treatment
39
Severity Ratings and Recommended Treatment
Sequence, (N = 28 Expert Counselors)
Mean Severity
Ratings
Mean Treatment
Sequence
Lack of Readiness
lack of motivation
indecisiveness
dysfunctional beliefs
7.50
7.43
7.21
3.44
4.93
4.18
Lack of Information
about the process
about the self
about occupations
about add sources
4.36
6.32
4.43
3.79
4.61
3.61
6.82
8.14
Inconsistent Information
unreliable inf.
internal conflicts
external conflicts
5.30
7.61
6.86
7.39
4.89
6.26
Difficulty
40
Suggestions for Treating the
Ten Types of Difficulties
41
The four steps in
dealing with the difficulties
Verify its existence
 Identify its sources
 Plan an intervention
 Treat it !!

42
Lack of Readiness:
Lack of Motivation



Primary assessment – temporary or chronicavoidant?
Locate the source (locus of control, uncertainty,
lack of career decision-making self-efficacy)
Discuss the costs and benefits of postponing the
decision
 inform
client that not making a decision is also a
(sometimes legitimate) decision
 present the importance of going through a systematic
process and illustrating the different implications of
making or not making a decision
43
Lack of Readiness:
General Indecisiveness
Determine sources (negative perceptions of
self, anxiety, diffused self-concept and
identity)
 Possible treatment:

 Discuss previous experience in decision making

Reinforce previous good decisions
 Identify factors involved in indecisiveness and treat
them separately
44
Lack of Readiness:
Dysfunctional Beliefs
Identify, understand and change
dysfunctional beliefs into functional ones
by using CDDQ, CTI and CBI
 Discuss the fact that the decision needs to
be based on known facts and specifically:


The resilience of the world of work
 The importance of choosing out of genuine
interest
 The collection of more information about
relevant occupations
45
Lack of Information
about the Process

Present the PIC Model:
– sequential elimination,
relevant aspects and considerations, use
CACGS
 In-depth exploration – information sources
for each stage, distinguish between structured
and “soft” information, computer-assisted
systems
 Choosing – Assess whether various choices
can be actualized, rank options and choose
 Prescreening
46
Lack of Information
about the Process (cont.)
Awareness to


The various aspects or factors that need to be
considered
The role of career counselors
Acknowledging


The uncertainty involved in the decision
The need / the role of compromise
47
Lack of Information
about the Self



Clarify client’s preferences (importance of
specific aspects, optimal level and compromise
levels)
And client’s abilities (general cognitive and
specific abilities)
Discuss with the client's his or hers past
experience and achievements
48
Lack of Information
about Careers



What are the options (educational, occupations,
jobs)
What characterize them (and what distinguish
among them)
What are the relations among education,
training, occupations, and jobs
49
Lack of Information
about the Additional Sources for Help
Inform client about additional sources of
help about:
 career decision making process,
 self (preferences, abilities, personality)
 career alternatives
50
Using the Information:
Unreliable Information

Explore whether unreliable information is about:




self (preferences or abilities) or
career
locate specific contradictions in information
Treating contradictions about self: help client
discover client’s skills, interests and important
considerations and successful past experiences

Treating contradictions about alternatives: guide
to relevant and reliable information sources
51
Using the Information:
Internal Conflicts




Assess whether the conflict is about preferences
or actualization problems
Discuss the need to compromise and
recommend framing preferences in terms of
aspects rather than alternatives
If the conflict is about problems of actualization discuss options, assess the probability and costs
of actualizing the plans, help to assess the cost
of compromise, and construct an alternative
plan.
Help the client decide what to choose as an
occupation and what as leisure activity
52
Using the Information:
External Conflicts


Identify clients’ significant others and
discuss different factors for their
importance (client, relationship,
decision, social context and culture-related)
Suggest to reconsider importance of others,
rephrase conflicts in terms of aspects or factors
considered rather than alternatives (e.g., medicine
vs. law
helping people vs. money)
53
To sum up

Career choices are based on decision-making
processes, therefore career counseling is
also decision counseling

Locating individual’s career decision-making
difficulties is a core component of the
assessment of their needs; it shapes the
counseling process

Measuring career making-decision difficulties
is not enough – it is important to interpret
them
54
For further information:
www.cddq.org [email protected]
55
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The assessment and treatment of career decision