Toni Babarović, Iva Šverko


This study investigated the vocational development of Croatian high school students. High school students start planning their careers in early adolescence, and they have to make important career decisions at the end of the secondary school. Therefore, we compared the first and the fourth graders (n1st = 309, n4th = 492) in several aspects of their career development. Participants completed paper-and-pencil measures regarding the realization of career construction tasks (SCCI), career decision-making difficulties (CDDQ) and career adaptability (CAAS). Results showed appropriate reliability and structural validity of all instruments. The senior students had a somewhat higher level of career maturity measured by the Occupational Exploration, Career Decision-Making, and Skilling and Instrumentation subscales of SCCI. Small age differences were observed in career decision-making difficulties (Lack of Readiness, Lack of Information, and Inconsistent Information subscales), where the junior students expectedly expressed more difficulties. The only increase in career adaptability was found for the Concern subscale, showing that career adaptability did not change much during the early-to-middle adolescence shift. Additionally, we did not find a considerable moderating effect of gender on age difference in career maturity, indicating that the same problem equally affected boys and girls. The observed progress in vocational development during secondary school was generally small, both for boys and girls. Therefore, it is very important to foster vocational development of all students by implementing broad and comprehensive career education and guidance programs in regular secondary school curriculum.


career construction, career adaptability, career maturity, career decision-making difficulties, adolescents


Achebe, C. C. (1982). Assessing the vocational maturity of students in the East Central State of Nigeria. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 20, 153–161. doi:10.1016/0001-8791(82)90003-3

Albion, M. J., & Fogarty, G. J. (2002). Factors influencing career decision making in adolescents and adult. Journal of Career Assessment, 10, 91–126. doi:10.1177/1069072702010001006.

Alvi, S. A., & Khan, S. B. (1983). An investigation into the construct validity of Crites' career maturity model. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 22, 174–181. doi:10.1016/0001-8791(83)90026-X

Amir, T., & Gati, I. (2006). Facets of career decision-making difficulties. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 34(4), 483-503.

Babarović, T., & Šverko, I. (2011). Profesionalna zrelost učenika viših razreda osnovnih škola [Vocational maturity of primary school students in Criatia]. Suvremena psihologija, 14(1), 91–108.

Babarović, T., & Šverko, I. (2016, May). Validacija hrvatske inačice Upitnika poteškoća u donošenju profesionalnih odluka CDDQ [Validity of Croatian Version of Career decision-making difficulties Questionnaire CDDQ]. Paper presented at 20th Days of psychology, Zadar, Croatia.

Betz, N. E., & Luzzo, D. A. (1996). Career Assessment and the Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy Scale. Journal of Career Assessment, 4, 413–428. doi:106907279600400405

Blustein, D. L., Juntunen, C. L., & Worthington, R. L. (2000). The school-to-work transition: Adjustment challenges of the forgotten half. In S. D. Brown & R. W. Lent (Eds.), Handbook of counseling psychology (3rd ed., pp. 435–470). NY: Wiley.

Černja, I., Šverko, I., & Babarović, T. (in press). Career maturity indicators in adolescence: Convergence of different measures. In V. Cohen-Scali, J. Rossier, & L. Nota (Eds.), International perspectives on current research in career counseling and guidance: Building careers in changing and diverse societies. NY: Springer.

Chen, F. F. (2007). Sensitivity of goodness of fit indexes to lack of measurement invariance. Structural Equation Modeling, 14, 464–504. doi:10.1080/10705510701301834

Cheung, G. W., & Rensvold, R. B. (2002). Evaluating goodness-of-fit indexes for testing measurement invariance. Structural Equation Modeling, 9, 233–255. doi:10.1207/S15328007SEM0902_5

Creed, P. A., & Patton, W. (2003). Differences in career attitude and career knowledge for high school students with and without paid work experience. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 3, 21–33. doi:10.1023/A:1022674528730

Crites, J. O. (1978). Career Maturity Inventory. Monterey, CA: McGraw Hill.

Dawis, R.V. & Lofquist, L.H. (1984). A Psychological Theory of Work Adjustment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Fouad, N. A. (1988). The construct of career maturity in the United States and Israel. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 32, 49–59. doi:10.1016/0001-8791(88)90005-X

Gati, I. (2013). Advances in career decision making. In B.W. Walsh, M. L. Savickas, & P. J. Hartung (Eds.), Handbook of vocational psychology (4th ed., pp. 183–215). New York: Routledge.

Gati, I., & Saka, N. (2001). Internet-based versus paper-and-pencil assessment: Measuring career decision-making difficulties. Journal of Career Assessment, 9, 397–416. doi:10.1177/106907270100900406

Gati, I., Krausz, M., & Osipow, S.H. (1996). A taxonomy of difficulties in career decision making. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 43, 510–526. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.43.4.510

Gottfredson, L. S. (1981). Circumscription and compromise: A developmental theory of occupational aspirations. Journal of Counselling Psychology, 28, 545–579. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.28.6.545

Guthrie, W. R., & Herman, A. L. (1982). Vocational maturity and its relationship to Holland‘s theory of career choice. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 21, 196–205. doi:10.1016/0001-8791(82)90029-X

Hall, D. W. (1963). The Vocational Development Inventory: A measure of vocational maturity in adolescence. The Personnel and Guidance Journal, 41, 771–775. doi: 10.1002/j.2164-4918.1963.tb02393.x

Hartung, P. J., Porfeli, E. J., & Vondracek, F. W. (2005). Child vocational development: A review and reconsideration. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 66, 385–419. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2004.05.006

Herr, E. L., & Enderlein, T. E. (1976). Vocational maturity: The effects of school, grade, curriculum and sex. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 8, 227–238. doi:10.1016/0001-8791(76)90023-3

Holland, J. L. (1959). A theory of vocational choice. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 6, 35–45.

Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P.M. (1999). Cut-off criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6(1), 1–55. doi:10.1080/10705519909540118

Kelly, K., & Colangelo, N. (1990). Effects of academic ability and gender on career development. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 13, 168–175. doi: 10.1177/016235329001300205

Kline, R. B. (2005). Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling (2nd ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.

Larson, L. M., Bonitz, V. S., & Pesch, K. M. (2013). Assessing key vocational constructs. In W. B. Walsh, M. Savickas, & P. Hartung (Eds.), Handbook of vocational psychology (4th ed., pp. 127–154). New York and London: Routledge.

Lee, H. (2001). A cross-cultural Study of the career maturity of Korean and United States high school students. Journal of Career Development, 28(1), 43–57. doi:10.1023/A:1011189931409

Luzzo, D. A. (1995). Gender differences in college students' career maturity and perceived barriers in career development. Journal of Counseling & Development, 73, 319–322. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6676.1995.tb01756.x

Mau, W. C. (2004). Cultural dimensions of career decision-making difficulties. The Career Development Quarterly, 53, 67–78. doi:10.1177/106907270100900403

Neice, D. E., & Bradley, R. W. (1979). Relationship of age, sex, and educational groups to career decisiveness. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 14, 271–278. doi:10.1016/0001-8791(79)90055-1

Omvig, C. P., & Thomas, E. G. (1977). Relationship between career education, sex, and career maturity of sixth and eighth grade pupils. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 11, 322–331. doi:10.1016/0001-8791(77)90028-8

Osipow, S. H., & Fitzgerald, L. F. (1996). Theories of career development (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Parsons, F. (1909). Choosing a Vocation. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Patton, W., & Creed, P. A. (2001). Developmental issues in career maturity and career decision status. The Career Development Quarterly, 49, 336–351. doi:10.1002/j.2161-0045.2001.tb00961.x

Pečjak, S., & Zagoričnik, M. (2007). Težave slovenskih srednješolcev priodločanju o nadaljnjem izobraževanju [The difficulties of Slovenian high-school students in deciding on further education]. Psihološka obzorja, 16(4), 7–26.

Porfeli, E. J. & Savickas, M. (2012). Career Adapt-Abilities Scale-USA Form: Psychometric properties and relation to vocational identity. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(3), 748–753. doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2012.01.009

Post-Kammer, P. (1987). Intrinsic and extrinsic work values and career maturity of 9th- and 11th- grade boys and girls. Journal of Counselling and Development, 65, 420–423. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6676.1987.tb00746.x

Pouyaud, J., Vignoli, E., Dosnon, O., & Lallemand, N. (2012). Career Adapt-Abilities Scale France form: Psychometric properties and relationships to anxiety and motivation. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 80, 692–697. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2012.01.021

Rocha, M., & Guimarães, M. I. (2012). Adaptation and psychometric properties of the student career construction inventory for a Portuguese sample: Formative and reflective constructs. Psychological Reports: Measures & Statistics, 111(3), 845–869. doi:10.2466/03.10.11.PR0.111.6.845-869

Rojewski, J. W., Wicklein, R. C., & Schell, J. W. (1995). Effects of gender and academic risk behaviour on the career maturity of rural youth. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 11, 92–104.

Rossier, J., Zecca, G., Staufer, S. D., Maggiori, C., & Dauwalder, J. P. (2012). Career Adapt-Abilities Scale in a French-speaking Swiss sample: Psychometric properties and relationships to personality and work engagement. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80, 734–743. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2012.01.004

Savickas, M. L. (1997). Career adaptability: An integrative construct for life-span, life space theory. The Career Development Quarterly, 45, 247–259. doi:10.1002/j.2161-0045.1997.tb00469.x

Savickas, M. L. (2002). Career construction: A developmental theory of vocational behavior. In D. Brown & Associates (Eds.), Career choice and development (4th ed., pp. 149–205). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Savickas, M. L. (2013). Career construction theory and practice. In S. D. Brown & R. W Lent (Eds), Career development and counseling handbook: Putting theory and research to work (2nd ed, pp. 147-183). Hokoben, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Savickas, M. L., & Porfeli, E. J. (2011). Revision of the Career Maturity Inventory: The adaptability form. Journal of Career Assessment, 19, 335–374. doi:10.1177/1069072711409342

Savickas, M. L., & Porfeli, E. J. (2012a). Career Adapt-Abilities Scale: Construction, reliability, and measurement equivalence across 13 countries. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80, 661–673. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2012.01.011

Savickas, M. L., & Porfeli, E. J. (2012b). Career Adapt-Abilities Scale. Rootstown, OH: Vocopher.com.

Savickas, M. L., & Porfeli, E. J. (2012c). Student Career Construction Inventory. Rootstown, OH: Vocopher.com.

Steiger, J. H. (2007). Understanding the limitations of global fit assessment in structural equation modelling. Personality and Individual Differences, 42, 893–898. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2006.09.017

Super, D. E. (1953). A theory of vocational development. American Psychologist, 8, 185–190. doi:10.1037/h0056046

Super, D. E. (1957). The psychology of careers. New York: Harper.

Šverko, I., & Babarović, T. (2016). Integrating personality and career adaptability into vocational interest space. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 94, 89–103. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2016.02.017

Tan, E. (1989). The career maturity of Singaporean adolescents – where do we stand and what can be done? Singapore Journal of Education, 10, 40–50. doi:10.1080/02188798908547660

Tien, H. L. S. (2005). The validation of the career decision making difficulties scale in a Chinese culture. Journal of Career Assessment, 13, 114–127. doi:0.1177/1069072712454698.

Van Vianen, A. E. M., Klehe, U. C., Koen, J., & Dries, N. (2012). Career adapt-abilities scale — Netherlands form: Psychometric properties and relationships to ability, personality, and regulatory focus. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80, 716–724. doi:0.1016/j.jvb.2012.01.002

Vandenberg, R. J., & Lance, C. E. (2000). A review and synthesis of the measurement invariance literature: Suggestions, practices, and recommendations for organizational research. Organizational Research Methods, 3(1), 4–69. doi:10.1177/109442810031002

Wallace-Broscious, A., Serafica, F. C., & Osipow, S. H. (1994). Adolescent career development: Relationships to self-concept and identity status. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 4, 127–149. doi:10.1177/109442810031002

Watson, M. B., & Van Aarde, J. A. (1986). Attitudinal career maturity of South African colored high school pupils. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 29, 7–16. doi:10.1016/0001-8791(86)90025-4

Watson, M. B., Stead, G. B., & De Jager, A. (1995). The career development of black and white South African university students. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 18, 39–47. doi:10.1007/BF01409603

Westbrook, B. W., Elrod, T., & Wynne, C. (1996). Career assessment and the Cognitive Vocational Maturity Test. Journal of Career Assessment, 4, 139-170. doi:10.1177/106907279600400203

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19090/pp.2016.4.429-448


  • There are currently no refbacks.