Publication: The Career Development Quarterly
Date published:
Language: English
PMID: 26420
ISSN: 08894019
Journal code: GCDQ

With the advent of the world economy and postindustrial society (Bell, 1973), workers began experiencing a need to adapt to the new paradigm of employment instability. Evidence of this transformation has become more commonplace in the United States (Uchetelle, 2006) and has also been the subject of recent films (e.g., Up in the Air [Dubiecke, Reitman, Reitman, Clifford, & Reitman, 2009], The Company Men [Polstein, Weinstein, Wells, & Wells, 2010]). The 20th-century social contract between industry and the worker was discarded (Uchetelle, 2006). Hall (1996) proclaimed that the career had ended and that the protean career had taken its place as the de facto career paradigm of the 21st century. Arthur and Rousseau (1996) called for workers to develop a boundaryless mind-set, meaning that employees must be both psychologically and environmentally open to change and learning that cross old organizational boundaries. Vocational psychology and career counseling responded to these changes in the work structure by creating theories to help clients reconceptualize work life (e.g., rich context approach [Blustein, 2006], happenstance theory [Krumboltz, 2009], career construction theory [Savickas, 2011]). These theories have a common theme that workers must be lifelong learners and able to adapt continually to the evolving work environment.

Career Adaptability and Stress Coping

Savickas (2011) focused specifically on the need for workers to be adaptive and used Super and Knasel's (1981) ideas concerning career maturity. Super and Knasel wrote that career maturity was not an accurate description for adults in the process of career transition, and they suggested the term career adaptability to explain adult career adaptation. Savickas (2011) incorporated many of Super's (1990) ideas into career construction theory but focused on the central construct of adaptation. He described an adaptability model for "mastering vocational developmental tasks, coping with occupational transitions, and adjusting to work traumas and contingencies" (Savickas, 2011, p. 3). Savickas ( 1997) discussed career adaptability from a functionalist perspective and stated that people adapt at work to enact their individual self-concepts. Through four dimensions of career adaptability (concern, control, curiosity, and confidence), Savickas (2011) described the adaptation of individuals to diverse work experiences. A consortium of researchers (Savickas & Porfeli, 2012) constructed the Career Adapt-Abilities Scale (CAAS) to measure the four dimensions. These dimensions are the resources that people use to explore work and make adaptive transitions. Although Savickas and Porfeli (2012) explained these adapt-abilitiesthrough specific trait dimensions, they posited that individuals develop "resources for coping with current and anticipated tasks, transitions, [and] traumas in their occupational roles" (p. 662). Dix and Savickas (1995), using a card sort method, found that coping with career development tasks can be conceptualized as specific behaviors that support career growth. Thus, coping with career transitions includes specific behavioral activities founded in psychological resources. Dix and Savickas stated that their results did not focus on building a structural model of career adapting resources. These authors encouraged further research to explore structural models of coping and adapting. One form of measurable resources people use to confront transitions and events is stress coping.

Many researchers (e.g., Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; Matheny, Aycock, Pugh, Curlette, & Cannella, 1986) have worked to define stress and establish models for the study of stress. According to Lazarus and Folkman (1984), stress occurs when individuals perceive a situation as exceeding their potential to manage that event. They defined stress coping as the ability to adjust cognitive, attitudinal, emotional, and behavioral processes to meet the demands of the environment. These authors posited that individuals appraise a situation and inventory their specific resources for addressing the event. If individuals self-assess that they have the resources to deal with the event, then stress is kept to a minimum. If, however, individuals believe that they do not possess the resources to adapt, then stress ensues. Borgen, Butterfield, and Amundson (2010) performed a qualitative study with workers who self-identified as doing well with career transition. Their study cited the Lazarus and Folkman model of stress in discussing how individuals make positive transitions. The results indicated that, although participants did well with transition, there were specific costs, both emotional and psychological. These results were apparent in a 2:1 ratio of negative effects versus positive effects in the general themes developed from the data. Borgen et al. concluded that, even though workers are facing the challenges of transition and reporting well-being, there are significant ramifications for psychological, emotional, and physical health. Butterfield, Borgen, Amundson, and Erlebach (2010) performed a qualitative study with various workers to explore how individuals cope with career transitions. They found that social support was the category that received the highest number of responses from participants, indicating that support from family and friends was a major resource in making positive transitions. These studies indicate that people who report thriving during career transition do experience negative effects when adjusting to work environment demands and that social support is a strong resource for positive adjustment. Cumulatively, this body of research suggests that the behaviors and attitudes used for positive career transition may relate to structural models of stress coping.

Matheny et al. (1986) defined stress coping behaviors as individuals' reactions toward stressful circumstances. These authors built a taxonomical model of stress coping behaviors and resources. The coping behaviors include cognitive restructuring, problem solving, and avoidance behaviors. Cognitive restructuring coping reflects an individual's effort to perceive events from new or alternative perspectives (e.g., My getting fired opens new opportunities instead of being an end to my career). Problem-solving behaviors represent the actual behaviors people use to overcome stressors (e.g., I will seek career counseling in order to learn of more opportunities concerning my career). Finally, avoidance behaviors are those activities that people use to circumvent stressors (e.g., I will use this time away from work to take a rest and not worry about finding employment). Matheny et al.'s (1986) model also included coping resources (e.g., social relationships, beliefs and values, overall health and wellness). On the basis of this model, Matheny, Curlette, Aycock, Pugh, and Taylor (1987) developed a measure to assess individuals' stress coping resources. These coping resources are an individual's psychological assets that are used in managing stressful events. The resources assessed by the measure are unique in that the scales assess an individual's perceived available resources to cope with stressors. These stress resistors (Antonovsky, 1979) are the raw materials people use to cope with life events, including work traumas and transitions. The instrument offers a total coping effectiveness score and measures six discrete categories of coping resources. Matheny et al. (1986) found that social resources (social support) had large effect sizes when combined with various other variables for treating stress. Similar to Butterfield et al. (2010), Matheny et al. found that positive stress coping was related to the ability to garner support from friends and family.

The stress models described by Lazarus and Folkman (1984) and Matheny et al. (1986) are similar to Savickas's (2002) description of individuals facing workplace difficulties. He explained than when a worker experiences moderate disharmony with job duties and self-concept, this experience serves to develop and refine the worker's self-concept (positive stress coping). The stress helps to challenge and deepen selfunderstanding and hone skills, thereby resolving the developmental task. However, when a worker perceives and experiences severe disharmony, the gulf between the work demands and the individual's self-concept is too great. This causes severe difficulty (distress) in developing the selfconcept and adapting. In essence, Savickas is saying that, if the stress of meeting the work task is overwhelming, the individual suffers from the stressful event. This theoretical linkage of stress coping and career adaptability suggests that those individuals who perceive higher stress coping resources, especially social support, should have higher career adaptability scores and vice versa.

Adaptive Personality Attributes: The AHIerian Lifestyle

Alfred Adler (Ansbacher & Ansbacher, 1956) developed individual psychology, focusing on idiographic aspects of the person. Adler (Ansbacher & Ansbacher, 1979) viewed the individual as adapting continually to the demands of the social world. Humans are striving for superiority, meaning that they are in a constant struggle to be adaptive and overcome inferiority. Adler stated that people develop specific life themes that can be identified as a lifestyle. This term, synonymous with personality (Dinkmeyer & Sperry, 2000), represents specific attributes the individual uses to address life tasks and challenges. People draw on these attributes for interpreting the world and as resources for adapting to change. Savickas (2011), using Adler's theory, referred to life themes and discussed this process in career development as part of adapt-ability. Specifically, Savickas (2011) used early recollections to develop the preoccupation of the client. The assessment of the preoccupation, using early recollections, is in concert with Adler's assessment of lifestyle. Both assess the primary striving and psychological pain that the client experiences as a life theme.

Wheeler, Kern, and Curlette (1993) developed a lifestyle inventory based on Adler's (Ansbacher & Ansbacher, 1956) individual psychology. Because individual psychology is a relational constructivist approach (Watts & Phillips, 2004), this inventory assesses individuals' personal attributes of adapting to the social environment. These adaptive attributes-lifestyle-are formed in early childhood and brought forward to address all developmental tasks and challenges.

Specifically, the Basic Adlerian Scales for Interpersonal Success-Adult Form (BASIS-A; Wheeler et al., 1993) has five scales that are similar to Dreikurs's (1967) four mistaken goals of children (Curlette, Wheeler, & Kern, 1997). Although formed in childhood, these goals remain consistent over the life span and become the schema of apperception for the individual. Each goal is similar to one scale (revenge = Going Along [GA], power = Taking Charge [TC], attention = Wanting Recognition [WR], and withdrawal = Being Cautious [BC]). These goals represent ways in which individuals strive for superiority to gain feelings of confidence and remain psychologically safe while meeting the tasks of life. In addition, the BASIS-A measures a perception of belonging to the family of origin (Belonging-Social Interest [BSI]) that represents only one aspect of social interest. This scale is of primary importance because Adler focused much of his theory on social interest and a feeling of belonging. He identified social interest as the primary construct in mental health and, subsequently, positive adaptation.

In summary, Dix and Savickas (1995) called for the exploration of structural models of coping and career adaptability. Furthermore, research (Amundson, Borgen, Iaquinta, Butterfield, & Koert, 2010; Borgen et al., 2010) indicates that social connection and attitudes are important variables in career transition. Finally, Matheny et al. (1986) reported that there are significant positive effects between stress coping and social support as measured by the BASIS-A.

The purpose of the study, using lifestyle variables as predictors of stress coping and career adaptability, was to construct synthetic dimensions that may inform models of career adaptability and provide practitioners with concepts for consideration that demonstrate the integration of career and mental health counseling. Specifically, we investigated whether a positive perception of early family environment (high feelings of belongingness) was a predictor of abundant stress coping resources and career adaptability. Additionally, we hypothesized that individuals who have a deficit in belongingness would report perceptions of early family discord, a lack of stress coping resources, and less career adaptability. By combining these variables, using canonical correlation procedures, we hoped to develop dimensions that would explain relationships between lifestyle attributes that may influence stress coping and career adaptability.



For this study, the participants consisted of undergraduate teacher education students at a midsized university in the southern United States. Students (N= 230) were invited to contribute to the study by completing a research packet. A total of 207 research packets were completed and used in the study. Thus, 23 participants (10%) did not complete all the questions in the research packet, and their data were not used in this study. The participants' mean age was 22.42 years. With regard to race/ethnicity, 178 of the participants were European American, 21 were African American, and eight were Latina/Latino. There were 173 women and 34 men.


Students were recruited from several introductory teacher education classes. Research packets were distributed, and students were given time in class to complete the research packet. Participants received a research packet that included all the instruments and a demographic sheet. The demographic sheet asked participants to identify their gender, country of origin, race/ethnicity, age, current marital status, and years of school completed. Also enclosed was a study information sheet that provided a brief description of the study and our contact information. As an in- centive to participate, we offered a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant. The packet had a removable label on which the participant could voluntarily provide an e-mail address to be entered into the raffle. The removable labels were used to create a database for the randomized drawing. The participants were asked to complete all the instruments and demographic sheet and place all materials back into the research packet. Packets were collected in class, and data were recorded for analysis.

Instruments and Materials

CAAS (Savickas & Porfeli, 2012). The CAAS assesses career adaptability on four dimensions according to career construction theory (Savickas, 2011). The 24-item inventory contains four scales (Concern, Control, Curiosity, and Confidence), each with six items (Porfeli & Savickas, 2012). Respondents rate each item (e.g., "Preparing for the future," "Counting on myself') on a 5-point Likert-type scale (1 = not strong, 2 = somewhat, 3 = strong, 4 = very strong, 5 = strongest). Raw scores are obtained by adding the scores for the items of each scale. The Concern scale assesses individuals' future focus and ability to look ahead to prepare for changes. The Control scale measures a person's self-discipline and feeling of autonomy in career issues. The Curiosity scale assesses a person's thoughts of the self in various career roles and situations. Finally, the Confidence scale assesses an individual's perceptions of having responsibility and autonomy in carrying out career plans (Savickas & Porfeli, 2012).

The CAAS total score has a reported reliability of .92 (Porfeli & Savickas, 2012). Reliability coefficients for the Concern, Control, Curiosity, and Confidence scales were reported to be .83, .74, .79, and .85, respectively. For the current study, the reliability coefficients were .80 (Concern), .72 (Control), .81 (Curiosity), and .87 (Confidence).

An international research consortium (Savickas & Porfeli, 2012) performed several confirmatory factor analyses, which yielded strong support for the four-factor model. Porfeli and Savickas (2012) performed a confirmatory factor analysis using 10th- and llth-grade students (N = 460). The fit indices (root mean square error of approximation = .05 and standardized root mean square residual = .04) indicated a good fit for the theoretical model. All items loaded well onto the four scales, which also were strong indicators of the adaptability construct.

Coping Resources Inventory for Stress-Short Form (CRIS-SF; Matheny & Curlette, 2010). The CRIS-SF measures individuals' perceived stress coping resources. The CRIS-SF consists of 69 items (e.g., "I am good at asserting myself," "I sometimes walk or jog to reduce tension"), which represent six primary scales and 12 subscales that were derived from the original CRIS instrument (Matheny & Curlette, 2010). The six primary scales of the CRIS-SF are Self-Directedness, Confidence, Social Support, Physical Health, Tension Control, and Structuring. Each of the primary scales has two subscales that facilitate understanding of the primary scales (Matheny & Curlette, 2010). The 12 subscales consist of Asserting One's Rights (six items) and Trusting Oneself (five items), which compose the Self-Directedness scale; Situational Control (five items) and Emotional Control (five items), which compose the Confidence scale; Support From Family (five items) and Support From Friends (seven items), which compose the Social Support scale; Wellness (six items) and Energy (five items), which compose the Physical Health scale; Physical Tension Control (five items) and Mental Tension Control (10 items), which compose the Tension Control scale; and Making Plans (five items) and Carrying Out Plans (five items), which compose the Structuring scale.

The six primary scales have coefficient alphas ranging from .84 to .88. In addition, the 12 subscales have reported coefficient alphas that range from .78 to .88 (Matheny & Curlette, 2010). Overall scores show the highest reliability alpha coefficient (.93). For the current study, the reliability coefficients (Cronbach's alpha) were as follows: Asserting One's Rights (.73), Trusting Oneself (.78), Situational Control (.81), Emotional Control (.76), Support From Family (.87), Support From Friends (.86), Wellness (.82), Energy (.81), Physical Tension Control (.77), Mental Tension Control (.70), Making Plans (.83), and Carrying Out Plans (.80).

Two exploratory factor analyses were conducted on an existing data set (more than 500 participants) from the original CRIS data (Matheny & Curlette, 2010). This was completed by first identifying the pooled subscale components (Factor Analysis 1) to build the subscales. Second, Matheny and Curlette (2010) pooled all the items to build the six primary scales (Factor Analysis 2). Results indicated support for content validity. Next, support for construct validity was established by correlating the scales (median correlation of r = .95) from the CRIS-SF to those of the original CRIS instrument (Matheny et al., 1987). Then, a confirmatory factor analysis was conducted using 761 participants (U.S. college students ages 17-66 years). This process included constructing three matrices for the analysis (primary scales, first subscale, second subscale). Of the 828 correlations, only one item did not correlate with the assigned subscale. The authors concluded that the results provided strong support for the construct validity of the CRIS-SF.

Curlette and Matheny (2009), Gnilka (2010), Kordansky (2010), Rampersad (2008), and Wei (2008) performed various convergent and discriminant validity studies with the CRIS-SF. The samples from these studies included counselor trainees (Gnilka, 2010), female counseling students (Kordansky, 2010), college women (Rampersad, 2008), and Chinese students (Wei, 2008). Curlette and Matheny performed a correlational study using the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II; Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI; Spielberger, 1983), and other scales. The study results supported the convergent and divergent validity of the scales (e.g., the CRIS-SF Confidence scale with the BDI-II, r = -.48, and with the STAI, r = -.63).

BASIS-A (Wheeler et al., 1993). The BASIS-A uses the theoretical axiom that early recollections are a way to assess an individual's lifestyle. Lifestyle is assessed by responses to items that inquire about a person's early childhood relationships (Kern, Wheeler, & Curlette, 1997). The instrument consists of 65 items, which begin with the phrase "When I was a child, I . . . (e.g., felt like I belonged, was friendly)." Each item is rated on a 5-point Likert-type scale (1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = indifferent, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree). Responses to the items create scores on five scales (BSI [nine items], GA [eight items], TC [eight items], WR [11 items], and BC [eight items]) and five subscales (Harshness [five items], Entitlement [six items], Liked by All [six items], Striving for Perfection [six items], and Softness [five items]). (Some of the items are used in both the scales and subscales.) The BSI scale assesses an individual's private logic of inclusion in the family of origin. The GA scale represents an individual's preference for structure and rules. The TC scale examines an individual's need for control and power in social situations. The WR scale examines a person's striving for acceptance and recognition from others. Finally, the BC scale assesses an individual's perception of safety and risk in the family of origin. The five supplemental scales assist in expanding the five main scales' interpretation. The Harshness subscale explores an individual's tendency to be more pessimistic in relating to others and the future. This subscale can also be interpreted as embellishing the negative. The Entidement subscale assesses a person's expectation that others should accommodate the individual's wants and desires. The Liked by All subscale measures a person's level of needing to be liked by others. The Striving for Perfection subscale represents an individual's striving toward accomplishment. Finally, the Softness subscale measures an individual's attitude of optimism. This subscale can also be interpreted as embellishing the positive.

Alpha coefficients for the BASIS-A's five scales range from .82 to .87 (Curlette et al., 1997). Using the test-retest reliability method results provided support for the reliability of the five scales (.66 to .87). Peluso, Peluso, Buckner, Curlette, and Kern (2004) found similar reliability statistics in a sample (329 undergraduate students from two U.S. universities, one in the Southeast and the other in the Northeast), providing more support for reliability. For the current study, the Cronbach's alphas for the five scales were as follows: BSI (.86), GA (.82), TC (.88), WR (.82), and BC (.84).

Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses support the factor structure of the five major scales (Curlette et al., 1997; Mullís, 1984; Peluso, Stoltz, Belangee, Frey, & Peluso, 2010; Wheeler, 1980). Wheeler (1980) performed an exploratory factor analysis with 715 participants. The analysis produced four factors that represented Dreikurs's (1967) four mistaken goals of children. Next, additional items were written and confirmed by expert Adlerian raters (rater agreement ranged from 50% to 82%, indicating better than chance agreement). Additionally, items were included that represented the Adlerian construct of social interest. A second factor analysis (Mullis, 1984) was conducted with 1,010 participants (high school students, undergraduate students, and adult workers). This analysis resulted in eight factors that represented Adlerian lifestyle, and the scale became the Life Style Personality Inventory (LSPI; Mullis, 1984). Two of the lifestyle themes were dropped because of high correlations with other scales, and one scale was incorporated into the subscales, resulting in five scales for the LSPI. A third confirmatory factor analysis (Curlette et al., 1997) was conducted using 1,083 participants. Five scales were postulated, and the results showed six factors with eigenvalues greater than 1.00. Analysis of the scree plot, however, showed that five factors was a more appropriate interpretation. In addition, the instrument's name was changed to the BASIS-A. Peluso et al. (2010) performed another confirmatory factor analysis with a sample of 917 college students (three samples from the southern United States and one sample from the northeastern United States). The indices of best fit indicated that the original five factors best fit the data.


We used canonical correlation analysis to study the multivariate relationships between the BASIS-A scores and the 12 coping resources and four career adaptability scores. The full model was significant using Wilks's multivariate test criterion, Wilks's λ = .28, .F(80, 899.72) = 3.45, p = .000. According to Sherry and Henson (2005), 1 - λ equals the variance explained by the model. Results indicated an effect size of 56% (1 - λ = .56) when this formula was used.

Three of five dimensions (first, second, and third) were significant on the basis of the dimension reduction report from SPSS (Version 18): Dimension 1, .F(80, 899.72) = 3.45, p = .000; Dimension 2, .F(60, 732.18) = 2.42, p = .000; Dimension 3, F(42, 558.46) = 1.82, ρ = .002; Dimension 4, -F(26, 378.00) = 1.19, p = .242; and Dimension 5, F(12, 190.00) = 0.82, p = .630. The variances accounted for in the three significant dimensions were R^sub c^^sup 2^ = 44%, R^sub c^^sup 2^ = 28%, and it2 = 20%, respectively. Given the amount of variance accounted for in these dimensions, we concluded that all were practical for interpretation (see Table 1). The redundancy report (Stewart & Love, 1968) verified this decision.

In Table 2, we provide the canonical weights (reported as coefficients), canonical loadings (r), and squared canonical loadings (r^sup 2^^sub s^. Only those dependent variables that exceeded an r greater than | .351 were used in the interpretation. The signs of the standardized coefficients are included as an important element in studying the inverse relationships among the variables. The following discussion includes the relationships and the descriptions of each dimension named here: socially attuned, compliant, and impassive.


The intent of this study was to explore multivariate relationships of the variables Adlerian lifestyle, stress coping resources, and career adaptability. Specifically, we hypothesized that the BSI scale would load with stress coping resources and career adaptability variables to form a dimension that represented high career adaptability. Additionally, we believed that the BC scale would load negatively with stress coping resources and career adaptability variables. The results partially supported our hypotheses.



The first dimension included the BSI score as the second highest loading. This dimension also included the BC scale, which loaded highest, indicating the proposed negative relationship to the BSI scale. In this dimension, high feelings of belongingness (BSI) are negatively associated with feelings of withdrawal and suspiciousness toward social groups and individuals. Participants scoring high on the BSI scale and low on the BC scale perceived their family of origin to be safe and stable (Kern et al., 1997), emphasizing that family safety during early childhood is important for positive social relationships. High BSI scores were also indicative of participants who perceived that they found a significant place in their family of origin. This finding is congruent with previous studies using the BASIS-A (Curlette et al., 1997). Two additional BASIS-A variables loaded on this dimension: GA and WR. The GA scale indicates that individuals are able to recognize and accept social rules and expectations (e.g., meeting career developmental tasks). The WR scale signals that these individuals also strive to be liked and accepted by others.

The remaining variables included positive loadings on the following stress coping scales: Wellness, Support From Friends, Carrying Out Plans, Mental Tension Control, Support From Family, Making Plans, and Energy. To our surprise, no career adaptability scales correlated high enough, based on our criteria, to load on the dimension. The positive loadings of the stress coping resources indicate a dimension that includes a high ability to gain support from friends and a general feeling of physical wellness. This dimension also includes the skill of being able to control mental tension, carry out plans effectively, and garner support from family. Finally, the dimension includes skills in making plans and a general feeling of having energy to be productive. The loading of several of the stress coping resources on this dimension indicates that those with perceptions of belonging to the family of origin develop more coping strategies to navigate life tasks.

Overall, the characteristics that loaded on this dimension indicate strong social and organizational skills, an ability to regulate emotions, and general feelings of wellness. Given these traits, we labeled this dimension socially attuned. Of special note is that the career adaptability variables did not enter this dimension. Because the dimension holds moderate correlations for the variables GA and WR, attributes that help people conform, we speculate that the dimension demonstrates a need for following social convention and being accepted. These attributes may be counter to the new paradigm of self-managing career and life. The credibility of this dimension is supported by emerging literature. Amundson et al. (2010) found that social connections and familial relationships were primary considerations in career decision making. Blustein (2006) and Blustein, Palladino Schultheiss, and Flum (2004) stated that a focus on community is an important aspect of career adaptability. Butterfield et al. (2010) found that friends and family were important variables in managing career change. Although the dimension shares similarities to the aforementioned findings in regard to the social aspects, there is an expansion of the construct. The participants categorized in this dimension may be self-efficacious in organizing and implementing plans. In addition, their high scores demonstrate that they have good health and can control mental tension. This finding partially supports our assertion that positive perceptions of early childhood relate to adult perceptions of social connectedness and the ability to cope with life tasks, including career development. Overall, this dimension seems to have characteristics of positive mental health and work adjustment; however, adjustment to a self-managing (protean or boundaryless) career may be challenging for individuals presenting with traits from this dimension.

In the second dimension, the BASIS-A variables that loaded on the dimension were TC, GA, and WR. The negative loading of the TC variable indicates that people in this dimension do not seek leadership positions or power. Instead, the striving would be on following rules (GA) and gaining positive recognition (WR). In support of this interpretation, the dimension includes negative loadings for two stress coping variables: Asserting One's Rights and Trusting Oneself.

Because this dimension seems to indicate a theme of following directions and wanting to please others, we labeled it compliant. This dimension may represent participants who are obsequious and who may supplicate to the directions of others to gain acknowledgment. Again, the career adaptability variables did not enter into the dimension; thus, there seems to be little differentiation among these variables in this dimension. We conjecture that this may again be due to the ability of individuals with these attributes to understand the social expectations and strive to meet those obligations. Thus, these individuals work on career transition as a way of meeting socially defined tasks (career development tasks) but not as a means of developing self-expressions (self-concept).

Butterfield et al. (2010) found that having an "internal framework and boundaries" (p. 151) was a positive characteristic in adjusting to career change and transition. The second dimension, compliant, indicates the opposite of this characteristic, signaling that participants categorized in this dimension may not possess the ability to use internal resources (personal rights and self-confidence) to adjust to career changes. These participants may rely on others for career direction and seek approval in career decisions, thereby not enacting a self-concept in career development.

The third dimension included negative loadings for the lifestyle variables TC and WR. The dimension also included negative loadings for Asserting One's Rights, three of the career adaptability scales (Concern, Control, and Curiosity), and other stress coping scales (Situational Control, Emotional Control, Making Plans, and Carrying Out Plans). These results characterize a dimension of traits that includes avoiding leadership (TC) and not focusing on pleasing others (WR). There is also a low ability to assert personal rights. Additionally, this dimension includes traits of little perceived ability to design and execute plans, control emotions, or control social situations. Finally, three of the career adaptability scales loaded on this dimension (Concern, Control, and Curiosity).

We posit that individuals with these attributes perceive deficits in being able to adjust to workplace transitions. This dimension, however, also seems to indicate passivity and apathy; thus, we labeled it impassive. People with these traits may express little concern, feel little control, have less curiosity about their career, and may not have developed stress coping resources to face life challenges. The lifestyle scales indicate that these people may not want to take direction in their lives and may have little value for what others may think of them. Overall, these dimensional characteristics may reveal a person who is apathetic in facing career developmental tasks, especially career self-management.

In summary, the data resulted in three synthetic dimensions. The first, socially attuned, was characterized by individuals who have developed coping resources for facing life tasks based on the need to be accepted and follow rules. We surmise that these individuals have positive early childhood experiences that allow them to develop the ability to cope with life even though they may have trouble with self-managing. The second dimension, compliant, seemed to represent people who may be more passive in planning a career and who may respond to social input from others for career direction. Both the first and second dimensions did not include the career adaptability variables, suggesting that, by following cultural norms, people in these dimensions meet the social requirements of choosing and seeking a career. However, the impetus for individuals in each dimension seems to be in response to external sources of social pressure to fit in. This may limit their overall career adaptability because the new work career paradigm calls for self-managing and enacting personal meaning in work (Hall, 1996). The third dimension, impassive, seemed to represent individuals who do not attempt to strive toward meeting the dictates in society. This dimension included three of the career adaptability variables as deficits and signals a need for career counselors to focus on building self-managing abilities with clients showing these attributes.

Implications for Career Counseling

The traits that make up the first dimension are indicative of clients who may need brief career counseling interventions. For clients who hold the traits of the first dimension, career counseling difficulties should be narrowly focused and not offer ubiquitous difficulties across the clients' life roles unless they are faced with work challenges that call for selfmanaging career abilities. Because of their need to please and follow social norms, individuals with these traits may benefit from assertiveness training and further career exploration focused on self-concept.

Others may easily influence people with the traits specified by the second dimension. With the second dimension traits, people follow social norms and want feedback that they are accomplishing social tasks. The dimension also indicates that these people have difficulty trusting themselves and asserting their rights. Career counselors working with these clients would need to focus on building assertiveness skills and engage in reassuring clients concerning decision making. In addition, building anxiety management skills may be helpful.

In the third dimension, the negative correlations indicate a general lack of interest in career development issues. Clients exhibiting these traits may need long-term intervention and may experience discord in several of their life roles, including work. Career counselors may first start by helping these clients to become assertive, to build skills in controlling emotions, and to become more skilled in social situations. In addition, building self-efficacy around making and executing plans may assist with the career adaptability dimension of control.

Limitations and Future Research

Canonical correlation analysis is a maximization technique, and, therefore, the results of this study are to be interpreted with caution. The process amplifies linear composites in the data, and an overestimation of the canonical weights may lead to misrepresentations of the data (Hair, Anderson, Tatham, & Black, 1998). When interpreting models of canonical correlation, researchers and clinicians should be aware of this overestimation possibility. In addition, the sample from this study came from a specific population (teacher preparation candidates). This sample limits the interpretability of the results to populations in different occupational classes. Finally, because of the self-report nature of this study, the relationships of the variables are likely to be spuriously strong as a result of method variance limitation.

An important first step for verifying the validity of the results in this study would be to test these variables on other occupational groups. In addition, testing the variables on various multicultural populations may inform theories of career adaptability about cultural differences.

Conclu sinn

The purpose of the study was to explore variables of Adlerian lifestyle, career adaptability, and stress coping. The combination of these variables developed a model that included three dimensions: socially attuned, compliant, and impassive. The results offer considerations for career counselors to expand the career counseling focus beyond the use of matching theories alone. We offered general descriptions of each dimension and interventions based on the descriptors of individual scales that correlated with the overall new dimension. These dimensions are offered as an additional step in deepening the understanding of career adaptability. The construct's relation to lifestyle traits and stress coping represents an integration of mental health and career counseling in career transition.

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Author affiliation:

Kevin B. Stoltz, Lori A. Wolff, Harold R. Farris, and Laith G. Mazahreh, Department of Leadership and Counseling Education, and Ann E. Monroe, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Mississippi. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kevin B. Stoltz, Department of Leadership and Counseling Education, School of Education, University of Mississippi, 109 Guyton Hall, University, MS 38677 (e-mail:

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