AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF A MEASURE OF VOCATIONAL IDENTITY FOR SPANISH-SPEAKING PERSONS
Gottfredson, Gary D
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Two overlapping issues have given rise to this study: the need for assessment instruments to use with Spanish-speaking Latinos and the need for normative data on current and future Spanish-language instruments. Numerous career assessment instruments exist for the English-speaking population. These instruments may be administered on computer-based systems or in paper and pencil format, but few instruments exist for use with the Spanish-speaking population. Holland's Vocational Identity Scale is widely used both as a screening instrument to assess the need for vocational assistance and as an outcome measure in studies of counseling effects. To examine the feasibility of using this English-language instrument with a Spanish-speaking population, a translation of the English- language instrument was prepared, internal consistency of the translated scale was scrutinized, and explorations of the construct validity of the instrument were undertaken. Norms based on a Spanish speaking sample were produced. An overarching question for this study was whether a Spanish translation of My Vocational Situation, which contains the Vocational Identity scale, would yield similar results in terms of reliability and correlations with other variables as the English-language version. The study focused on two additional questions pertaining to the translated scale: To what degree does Identity have a positive correlation with other measures of psychological adjustment? Do groups presumed to be higher in Vocational Identity (more educated persons, persons higher in age) score higher than groups presumed to be lower in vocational identity? Data were collected via the Internet. Measures included Spanish-language versions of four established instruments: My Vocational Situation, Career Decision Self-Efficacy Short Form (CDSE-SF), Hope Scale, and the Neuroticism Scale of Goldberg's International Personality Item Pool. A new experimental scale devised for the present research, Latino Barriers, was also included. Items for each measure were subjected to internal consistency item analyses. Most Spanish language scales were satisfactory based on the item analysis, but one item in the translated Neuroticism scale was deleted. Analysis of the reliability of the measures revealed that the Spanish-language version of the Vocational Identity scale had an alpha of .86 which was comparable to reliability with the English version for high school students (á = .86) and for college students and workers (á = .89) (Holland, Gottfredson, & Power, 1980). Correlations of the translated Vocational Identity scale with other instruments imply that it provides a measure of vocational adjustment with a psychological meaning similar to that of the English language Vocational Identity scale. It appears appropriate to apply the translated instrument in research and practical applications while continuing to study its psychometric properties and practical utility with Spanish speaking persons.