Beyond conscientiousness: career optimism and satisfaction with academic major

McIlveen, Peter and Beccaria, Gavin and Burton, Lorelle J. (2013) Beyond conscientiousness: career optimism and satisfaction with academic major. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 83 (3). pp. 229-236. ISSN 0001-8791

Text (Submitted Version)

Download (384Kb)


The study focuses on psychological predictors of academic major satisfaction. According to the career construction theory (Savickas, 2005), vocational personality and career adaptability should generate career satisfaction. In this study, vocational personality was operationalized as Big Five conscientiousness, and career adaptability was operationalized as generalised self-efficacy and career optimism. A sample (N = 529) of university students completed an online survey. The resultant data were used to construct a structural model of the hypothesized relationships among variables. A good fitting model [χ2 = 10.454 (7) p = .164; GFI = .993; CFI = .999; RMSEA < .031 (<.001 - .066)] indicated that career optimism fully mediated the relationship between conscientiousness and academic major satisfaction. Results were consistent with previous research into personality and academic performance. Moreover, the results highlight the significant role of optimism in satisfaction with career generally, and studies, specifically. Suggestions are made for future research into modelling the relationships according to different academic disciplines and for the potential role of optimism as a learning objective for career education and counseling.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 23564
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2013 23:11
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2015 01:55
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic major satisfaction; conscientiousness; career optimism; career construction theory
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130305 Educational Counselling
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170110 Psychological Methodology, Design and Analysis
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.jvb.2013.05.005

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only