A mixed-methods analysis of black adolescents’ vocational identity status and career adaptability competencies in a south african township

Albien, Anouk Jasmine (2018-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A critical standpoint is taken in the present research study to explore the extent to which key career constructs, such as career adaptability and vocational identity, may manifest differently in a non-Western and developing world context, such as that of the Kayamandi township in South Africa. This research process consisted of six phases as part of a multi-phase mixed-methods research design. In Phase 1, relevant role players were included in the development of a culturally sensitive life-designing career intervention. In Phase 2, a psychometric analysis was undertaken that determined that the Career Adapt-abilities Scale (CAAS) and Vocational Identity Status Assessment (VISA) measures had moderate reliability and validity in the Kayamandi township context. This data was contextualised with qualitative Delphi interviews. Thereafter, Phase 3 consisted of the pilot intervention, which established the content, structure and applicability of the career intervention, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Phase 4 included the final administration of the Shaping Career Voices intervention. In Phase 4, the career measures were administered to 582 Grade 10, 11, and 12 isiXhosa-speaking high school students between the ages of 14 and 22 years old (M=17, SD=1.3) from a peri-urban low-income setting. Participants included 314 Grade 10 (55%), 237 Grade 11 (41%) and 31 Grade 12 (5%) students, of whom 169 (31%) were males and 369 (69%) were females. A repeated-measures research design was utilised and scores were tracked at four time points: T1 and T2 before administering a culturally-constructed career life-designing intervention, as well as at two time points after the intervention (T3 and T4). Scores were observed in all of the subscales of the VISA and CAAS to have increased significantly as a result of the intervention. The most significant results were seen between T1 and T4, where scores remained high at the follow-up (T4). The results indicated gender differences, as female participants were seen to score significantly higher on the CAAS subscales of concern and co-operation, in contrast to male participants, who scored higher on the VISA subscales of career flexibility (CF) and self-doubt (SD). Grade differences were also observed, which indicated that learners who were facing high school graduation (Grade 12) had the highest increases in scores across the two instruments. Most interesting was the finding that vocational identity statuses began shifting at T1 and then remained consistent from T3 onwards. In addition, the CAAS subscales increased monotonically across vocational identity statuses from least to more adaptive as a result of the intervention. Lastly, two new vocational identity statuses were uncovered in this sample, namely undifferentiated moratorium and foreclosed moratorium, due to the increase in vocational identity subscale scores that resulted from the intervention process. The implications for research and career counselling practice are discussed. Furthermore, quantitative data were supplemented with evaluative and reflective intervention feedback (Phase 5) as well as a focus group interview (Phase 6). The focus group took place six months after the completion of the career intervention and allowed a deeper analysis of contextually bound and culturally sensitive factors. Unique patterns of stability and change in, as well as associations between, career adaptability and vocational identity subscales emerged in this South African case study. The findings suggest that the manifestation of career adaptabilities and vocational identity processes is the result of dynamic interactions between individuals, collectivistic values and their environments. The current research addresses the call for research to be conducted across diverse socio-economic statuses, geographical locations as well as racial and linguistic groups to facilitate etic-emic understandings of the career development of marginalised youth worldwide.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die huidige navorsingstudie neem ’n kritiese standpunt in om sleutel loopbaan konstrukte soos loopbaan-aanpasbaarheid en beroepsidentiteit te ondersoek in die mate waartoe hierdie konstrukte anders mag manifesteer in ’n nie-Westerse en ontwikkelende wêreld konteks, soos dié van die Kayamandi dorpsgebied in Suid-Afrika. Die navorsingsproses het bestaan uit ses fases as deel van ʼn veelfasige gemengde metodes navorsingsontwerp. Tydens Fase 1 is relevante rolspelers ingesluit by die ontwikkeling van ’n kultuur-sensitiewe lewens-ontwikkelende loopbaan ingryping. Tydens Fase 2 was ’n psigometriese analise onderneem wat bepaal het dat meetistrumente van die Career Adapt-abilities Scale (CAAS) en Vocational Identity Status Assessment (VISA) gematigde betroubaarheid en geldigheid in die Kayamandi-township konteks het. Hierdie data is aangevul met kwalitatiewe Delphi-onderhoude. Hieropvolgend het Fase 3 bestaan uit ʼn loodsingryping wat die inhoud, struktuur en ontvangs van die loopbaanigryping, beide kwantitatief en kwalitatief, bepaal het. Fase 4 die finale administrasie van die “Shaping Career Voices” ingryping ingesluit. In Fase 4 was die loopbaanmeetings aan 582 Graad 10, 11, en 12 isiXhosa-sprekende hoërskool studente tussen die ouderdomme van 14 en 22 jaar oud (M = 17, SD = 1.3) vanaf ’n peri-stedelike lae-inkomste-omgewing geadministreer. Deelnemers het 314 Graad 10 (55%), 237 Graad 11 (41%) en 31 Graad 12 (5%) studente ingesluit, waarvan 169 (31%) mans en 369 (69%) vroue was. ’n Herhaalende metingsnavorsingsontwerp is aangewend en tellings is op vier tydpunte geneem, soos volg: T1 en T2 voor die toepassing van ’n kultureele-gekonstrueerde lewens-ontwikkelende loopbaaningryping sowel as op twee tydpunte ná die ingryping (T3 en T4). Tellings vir al die sub-skale van die VISA en CAAS het toenemend verhoog as gevolg van die ingryping. Die mees beduidende resultate is tussen T1 en T4 waargeneem, waar tellings gebly het ten tyde van die opvolgmeting (T4). Die resultate het geslagsverskille aangedui in soverre vroulike deelnemers beduidend hoër tellings op die CAAS sub-skale van Concern en Co-operation behaal het, terwyl manlike deelnemers hoër tellings op die VISA sub-skale van Career flexibility (CF) en Self-doubt (SD) behaal het. Graadverskille is ook waargeneem en het aangedui dat leerders wat die einde van hoërskool in die gesig staar (Graad 12’s) die hoogste stygings in tetellings oor die twee metings gehad het. Die interessantste bevinding was dat beroepsidentiteit-statusse by T1 begin skuif het en daarna vanaf T3 voorwaarts konstant gebly het. Daarbenewens het die CAAS sub-skale eentonig oor beroepsidentiteit-statusse verhoog, vanaf minste tot meer aanpasbaar as gevolg van die ingryping. Laastens is twee nuwe beroepsidentiteit-statusse in hierdie steekproef ontdek, naamlik ongedifferensieerde moratorium en afgesluite moratorium, as gevolg van die toename in beroepsidentiteit sub-skaal tellings wat deur die ingrypingsproses meegebring is. Die implikasies vir navorsing en beroepsvoorligting word bespreek. Verder is kwantitatiewe data aangevul deur evaluerende en reflektiewe terugvoer oor die ingryping (Fase 5), sowel as ʼn fokusgroep-onderhoud (Fase 6). Die fokusgroep het ses maande ná die voltooiing van die loopbaaningryping plaasgevind, en het ’n dieper analise van kontekstueelgebonde en kultuur-sensitiewe faktore toegelaat. Unieke patrone van stabiliteit en verandering in, sowel as assosiasies tussen, loopbaan aanpasbaarheid en die beroepsidentiteit sub-skale het in hierdie Suid-Afrikaanse gevallestudie na vore gekom. Die bevindings dui daarop dat die manifestering van loopbaan aanpassings en beroepsidentiteits-prosesse die gevolg is van dinamiese interaksies tussen individue, kollektiewe waardes, en hulle omgewing. Die huidige navorsing spreek die oproep vir navorsing oor diverse sosio-ekonomiese statusse, geografiese liggings sowel as ras en taalgroepe aan sodat “etic-emic” begrippe van die loopbaanontwikkeling van gemarginaliseerde jeug wêreldwyd gefasiliteer kan word.

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