Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Thomas V. McGovern


Current research suggests that there is some relationship between developmental variables, levels of career maturity and career decisions. In this study, the relationships between certain developmental factors and the degree of certainty expressed by college students about their decision to major in a field of study were explored. The variables included the student's decision making stage, decision making styles, levels of autonomy and interpersonal relationships, and degree of career maturity. The relationships between students' status as decided or undecided about a choice of major and the variables were also investigated. The participants of this study were 104 men (n=47) and women (n=57) who were enrolled as degree seeking students at Virginia Commonwealth University during the 1981 academic year. It was found that the student's scores on developmental measures did interact with levels of certainty of the decision making outcomes. Significant positive relationships were found to exist between decision making stage, decision making style, level of autonomy, career maturity, and the expressed level of certainty of the decision. Also, it was found that students who had decided upon a major field of study scored significantly higher on the measure of career maturity than did the undecided students. It was suggested that these results be applied to the career/academic counseling setting. Counselors could better help students to plot a course towards effective decision making by considering informational and developmental factors as components of the career decision making process.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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