Career Barriers of College Women across Racial/Ethnic Groups: Examination of The Perception of Barriers Scale
Kim, Young Hwa
O'Brien, Karen M.
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The purpose of the study was to examine the factor structure, measurement invariance, and psychometric properties of a commonly used measure of perceived career barriers (The Perception of Barriers Scale; Luzzo & McWhirter, 2001) with a sample of racially diverse college women. The results supported a nine-factor structure of the Perception of Barriers Scale indicating different sources of barriers. In general, configural, metric, and scalar invariance of the Perception of Barriers subscales were found across Asian American, African American, Latina American, and White American college women for the nine-factor structure. All three groups of women of color reported higher career barriers due to racial discrimination, higher educational barriers due to finances concerns, and higher educational barriers due to lack of confidence and skills than White women. The results also demonstrated the potential difference in salient barriers across Asian American, African American, and Latina American women. The reliability estimates were satisfactory and construct validity was supported by negative associations among the scores on several Perception of Barriers subscales and a career-self-efficacy measure. The findings suggested that college women experience barriers from various sources when pursuing their career and educational goals.