The Relationship of Attachment Variables to Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy and Fear of Commitment (Career Counseling)

The quality of parental and peer attachment has been found to be related to many indices of adaptive behavior and functioning in college students and adults (e.g., Hinderlie & Kenny, 2002; Kenny & Perez, 1996; Lopez, 1995). With specific reference to career development, Blustein, Prezioso, and Schultheiss (1995) presented a strong theoretical rationale to explain why the experience of felt security provided by secure attachment relationships should facilitate exploration of the self and environment (Proposition 1, p. 425) and progress through career decision making and commitment processes (Proposition 2, p. 425). Several studies have examined the relationship of attachment constructs to variables reflecting the quality of the career decision process. Blustein, Walbridge, Freidlander, and Palladino (1991) reported that for women, attachment was related to greater commitment to a career decision and less to a tendency to prematurely foreclose on a decision. For men, paternal attachment was more important than maternal attachment, and greater attachment to fathers was related to greater commitment to a career decision, although not to a tendency to foreclose on a decision. Felsman and Blustein (1999) found that greater peer attachment and moderate attachment to mother, but not to father, were related to progress in committing to a career choice. O’Brien, Friedman, Tipton, and Linn (2000) found small relationships of parental attachment to career decision-making self-efficacy (Betz, Klein, & Taylor, 1996) in college women.

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