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Assessment in counseling chapter 9

Assessment in Career
Chapter 9

Career Assessment
∗ Origins of assessment in career counseling can be traced back
to Frank Parsons
∗ “Test and tell” approach not reflective of current status of
career assessment
∗ Purpose is to gather information to facilitate decision making
by counselor/client

Assessing Individual Differences

∗ Interests
∗ Abilities/skills
∗ Values
∗ Integrative Career Assessment programs

∗ Interest inventories often used because they can be
helpful in describing general occupational interests
∗ Counselors can also assess interests by using
measures of expressed and manifest interests
∗ Interest inventories have been found to promote
career exploration and connect the client’s interests
to specific occupations

∗ Common interest inventories
∗ Strong Interest Inventory
∗ Career Assessment Inventory
∗ Self-Directed Search
∗ Other instruments
∗ O*NET Interests Profiler
∗ Jackson Vocational Interest Survey
∗ For elementary students: Career Finder, Judgment of Occupational
Behavior-Orientation (JOB-O), What I Like to Do (WILD)
∗ For individuals with disabilities: Wide Range Interest-Opinion TestSecond Edition

Interests (cont.)
∗ Strong Interest Inventory (Donnay et al., 2005)
∗ One of the most widely used instruments in
∗ Compares individuals’ responses to items with
response patterns of people in different occupations
∗ Appropriate for high school students, college
students, and adults
∗ Assesses preferences in occupations, subject areas,
activities, leisure activities, people and characteristics

∗ Assessment of abilities and skills often conducted to identify
occupational possibilities in which client could be successful
∗ Aptitude tests often used in career counseling because they are good

predictors of occupational success
∗ Important for counselors to verify aptitude assessment results with
other information
∗ Some common abilities/skills inventories
∗ Campbell Interest and Skills Survey
∗ Skills Confidence Inventory
∗ Self-estimates of Abilities (ability estimates & self-efficacy estimates)

∗ Work values more highly correlated than interest with work
satisfaction (Rounds, 1990)
∗ No inventory is inclusive of all possible values
∗ Clients may value something not assessed on instrument used
∗ Need to supplement use of values inventory with exploration of
other possible values

∗ Some common values instruments
∗ Minnesota Importance Questionnaire
∗ O*NET Work Importance Profiler

Integrative Career Assessment Programs
∗ Combine interests, abilities, and values assessments
∗ Kuder Career Planning System
∗ COPSystem
∗ Integrated Assessment and Career Information
∗ These systems include multiple assessments as well as
an integration of occupational information
∗ DISCOVER Program

Combining Assessment Information
∗ Career Development Assessment and Counseling Approach (CDAC)
∗ Integrates results from multiple career assessments:
∗ Adult Career Concerns Inventory
∗ Career Development Inventory
∗ Strong Interest Inventory
∗ Values Scale
∗ Salience Inventory

∗ Informal assessments/exercises

Career Process Measures
∗ Career Decision Making
∗ Career Maturity
∗ Other career choice process measures

Career Decision Making
∗ Career Decision Scale
∗ Provides measure of career indecision, but does not
indicate source or type of indecision

∗ My Vocational Situation
∗ Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy Scale
∗ Measures confidence individuals have in their ability to
make career decisions

∗ Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire
∗ Constructed to measure theory-based taxonomy of
decision-making difficulties

Career Maturity
∗ Career maturity  “extent to which the individual has mastered the
vocational tasks, including both knowledge and attitudinal components,
appropriate to his or her stage of career development” (Betz, 1988, p.
∗ Measures the client’s level of readiness for mastering career development

∗ Career Development Inventory
∗ Adult Career Concerns Inventory
∗ Career Maturity Inventory

Other Career Choice Process Measures
∗ Career Thoughts Inventory
∗ Designed to measure dysfunctional thinking about
career decision making

∗ Career Transitions Inventory
∗ Designed to assess clients’ perceptions of psychological
resources available as they go through career change

Qualitative Career Assessment

∗ Qualitative assessment is not standardized tests that yield
quantitative scores and norm-based interpretation
∗ Tends to foster more active role for the client rather than
more passive interpretation of results
∗ Emphasizes holistic study of the individual
Goldman, 1990

Qualitative Career Assessment
∗ Qualitative career assessment is not a set of specific
assessment instruments or techniques
∗ Savickas (1993):
∗ Career assessment process focuses on stories
∗ Client and counselor act as coauthors and editors to:
(1) author coherent, continuous, and credible career story
(2) identify themes and tensions within story lines and attribute
meaning to those concepts
(3) develop narrative or plan to learn skills needed to perform next
episode in the story

Qualitative Career Assessment
∗ Qualitative career assessments should consist of small,
simple, and sequentially logical steps (McMahon et al., 2003)
∗ Construction of narratives should elucidate socially and
culturally embedded nature of career and facilitate greater
understanding of relationship between individual and social
context (Cohen, Duberty, & Mallon, 2004)
∗ To use qualitative career assessment, practitioner must
understand philosophical underpinnings of the approach

Issues and Trends in Career
∗ Technology and Internet-Based Career Assessments
∗ Gender and Career Assessment
∗ Ethnic and Cultural Differences in Career

Technology and Internet-Based Career
∗ Assessments provided by professionals, as well as amateur and
illegally-adapted instruments available online
∗ Additional research needed to determine if Internet versions of
instruments are comparable to paper-and-pencil
∗ Can be difficult to ascertain whether the instruments are sound and
methodologically strong
∗ Misinformation has potential to harm individuals

∗ There are also concerns about privacy and confidentiality
∗ Some sites do this better than others

Gender and Career Assessment
∗ Gender differences in interest inventories
∗ Same-sex norms vs. combined norms
∗ Use of less-structured assessment methods
∗ Examination of internal and external barriers

Ethnic and Cultural Differences in
Career Assessment
∗ Cultural validity vs. Cultural specificity
∗ Appropriate use of interest inventories
∗ Culturally appropriate model of career assessment

A Culturally Appropriate Model of Career
Assessment (Flores, Spanerman, & Obasi, 2003)

Culturally encompassing information gathering
Culturally appropriate selection of instruments
Culturally appropriate administration
Culturally appropriate interpretation of assessment data

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