An Exploration of the Relationship Between Socio-Economic Factors and Career Readiness in University Students in Lebanon

Prof Doc Thesis

Loutfallah, Sakina 2014. An Exploration of the Relationship Between Socio-Economic Factors and Career Readiness in University Students in Lebanon. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsLoutfallah, Sakina
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Political, socio-economic, and cultural factors have ceased the development of career guidance activities in Lebanon. This stagnation shaped the provision of career services and lead to an ignorance of career policies in practice (Sultana & Watts, 2007). This dissertation engages with this problem by offering a model, inspired from the life-span developmental-contextual
perspective of Vondracek and Porfeli (1982), to explore the status of career
guidance in Lebanon. The model, consisting of two parts, utilises a mixed methods approach in order to foreground the relationships between different significant factors. The first part proposes that the prediction of university students’ career maturity from different components inspired from the life-career theory of Super (1980) is moderated by a range of socioeconomic
factors. To this end, quantitative analysis allows for a careful examination of the development and validation of the Career Readiness Measure. A comprehensive item generation process encompassing an extensive literature review, a pilot and factor analysis studies on a large representative sample (N = 4015 university students) produced a 25-item questionnaire to assess career maturity in relation to 4 factors: career planning, career
decision making, career exploration, and world of work knowledge. Results show that age (year of birth), year of graduation, type of university attended, the university’s name, degree level, frequency of changing majors, socio-economic status and wasta (influence) moderate the relationship between career maturity and at least one of its components. Unexpectedly, religion affiliation does not appear to impact on the prediction of career maturity from its components.
The second part provides further understanding of the status of career guidance in Lebanon by evaluating the impact of policy-makers’ interventions on the provision of career guidance services. It is proposed that the provision of career guidance services should begin with an understanding of career professionals’ subjectivity; and that it should encompass the type of services provided, the knowledge and qualifications of career professionals, policymakers’ interventions, and students’ perception. In this study, professionals from various schools and universities were interviewed using Q method in order to discern their subjectivity toward career guidance provision in the Lebanese setting. Thirty statements, generated based on expert discourses and theoretical foundations, were collected from N = 41 participants. Results reveal 5 groups of professionals who are distinguished based on the type of services they provide and their perception of the need of governmental interventions within the field of career guidance. Findings indicate that professionals hold strong views concerning the fundamental necessity of career guidance for students, yet they diverged on certain core issues regarding the type of services provided and the need to cooperate with
policy-makers in order to move the status of career guidance forward.
Finally, from the triangulation analysis of both studies, it is concluded that several issues in career guidance in Lebanon are highly correlated with existing policies, the provision of career guidance services, and with students’ socio-economic factors. This implies that research on career guidance in Lebanon should focus on understanding the number of factors that affect students’ career maturity and on career professionals’ perceptions of career services provision so as to inform and guide policy-makers’ planning and decision-making.
Implications for career guidance in the Lebanese settings are discussed further.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintOct 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited08 May 2015
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