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Self-efficacy and Self-concept as Predictors of Career Aspirations of Adolescents

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Social Cognitive Theory

Childhood marks the dawn of human development. The career development of children has been viewed as a critical part of the overall education of the individual. Career exploration typically begins as early as middle school. (Osborn, 2006) The current study primarily focuses on college students because this is a critical developmental period in which career exploration and formation of prospective career objectives begin to take place. It is during this time that expectations to narrow down and finalize postgraduate options are increased. These students are making crucial decisions such as seeking employment versus pursuing postgraduate education options that will inevitably impact their career plans and goals. (Gushue, 2006 ). Donald Super created a developmental model which emphasized how personal experiences interact with occupational preferences in creating one’s self-concept. Super’s (1990) theory of career development is one of the most widely recognized models that looked at career development as occurring in stages throughout the lifespan. Social Cognitive Theory was developed to offer a unifying framework that integrates common pieces or elements from various career theories.

Self Efficacy

The term self-efficacy is linked to the level of confidence that a person has according to his abilities to act (Bandura, 1997). However, self-esteem refers to the overall evaluation of oneself (Baumeister, 1996). Self-efficacy helps individuals to have self-confidence, so that they could execute their actions efficiently. A person’s self-efficacy aids him to find out solutions to his/her problems. Self–efficacy is described as a “building block” of career development. It refers to people’s judgment about their capabilities to take actions to achieve designated types of performances. (Tariq, 2016). In making career-related decisions, a person has to accept his/her capabilities, wellbeing, talent, and values to form a significant frame for life (Walsh, 1998).

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Self Concept

Self- concept plays a significant role in molding behavior patterns of an individual. It is developed through interaction with the environment. Satisfactory and gratifying performances result in a more positive attitude towards him/ her. (Alam, June 2016) Self-concept is the cognitive or thinking aspect of self and generally refers to“ the totality of a complex, organized and dynamic system of learned beliefs, attitudes and opinions that each person holds to be true about his or her personal existence” (Murray, 1967 ). Franken (1994) states that “there is a great deal of research which shows that the self-concept is perhaps the basis for all motivated behavior. The Self-Concept is derived from several factors including certain personality traits, how you look, your personal values and life goals, and your place or role in life. The Self-Concept is the way babies and children start to understand the social world in relation to themselves. Relationships with relatives and friends/mentors influence the developmental process heavily. In childhood, the Self-Concept tends to be tied to concrete or physical things like looks, items, and skill levels. As the child grows, they learn about things like intrinsic (inner) characteristics and psychological differences because they now have a larger network of peers and mentors to compare themselves with. Later in life (teenager-adulthood), the self-concept changes into a more nebulous idea that is organized by what is relevant to the individual. (Fournier, 2018)

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