Blake A. Allan's research while affiliated with University of Houston and other places

Publications (89)

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Using a person-centered approach, this study explored the interrelationship between decent work and precarious work via a latent profile analysis (LPA). This investigation sought to replicate the latent profiles from Blustein and colleagues (2020) and extend the results by examining the role of individual lifetime experiences of macro-level factors...
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The purpose of this study was to investigate certain positive characteristics (i.e., social resourcefulness, personal resourcefulness, optimism, and meaning in life) as protective factors for people from lower social class backgrounds. Resilience theory (Yates & Masten, 2004) posits that certain positive characteristics may act as protective factor...
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As the proportion of immigrant workers in the United States grows, understanding how contextual constraints restrict immigrant workers from securing decent work is critical. Therefore, drawing from psychology of working theory (PWT), this study examined relations from contextual barriers (economic constraints and acculturative stress) to psychologi...
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Building upon the psychology of working theory (PWT), the goal of the present study was to examine longitudinal relations among precarious work, workplace dignity, and basic need fulfillment (survival, social contribution, and self-determination needs). To examine our hypotheses, we surveyed a group of working adults in the United States three time...
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In the present study, we surveyed a sample of working adults ( N = 495) in the United States to understand experiences with underemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing from psychology of working theory, we examined a structural model linking economic constraints and experiences of marginalization to underemployment, as mediated by work vo...
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Research has established that certain forms of underemployment relate to poorer mental health, but no studies have examined which components of underemployment are uniquely related to mental health over time. To address this gap in the literature, we longitudinally examined how multiple subjective underemployment constructs (i.e., underpayment, sta...
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Objectives: To understand how different reminiscence functions and previously meaningful work predicted meaning in life in retired adults. Method: We surveyed 240 retired adults recruited from ResearchMatch and had them complete questionnaires assessing their reminiscence functions, their meaning in life, and whether they perceived their previou...
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A common assumption is that upward mobility produces positive psychological outcomes. However, status-based identity framework and social class worldview model propose that perceived social mobility in either direction will lead to increased distress. Based on this claim, we examined relations among subjective social mobility, life satisfaction, an...
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This study tested the Strengths-Based Inclusive Theory of Work (S-BIT of Work), a vocational theory that emphasizes positive psychological and cultural factors, among a sample of service industry workers during COVID-19. Service industry workers ( N = 320) were recruited via social media sources across the United States, and structural equation mod...
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College presents a number of challenges to new students. Few studies have examined how students’ strengths may positively impact their college experience and what factors may promote or impede their success. This study examined the relationship between strengths use and academic satisfaction, academic meaning, and leadership, as well as the influen...
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The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis has resulted in unimaginable loss of life coupled with the loss of livelihoods for millions of people across the globe. In this article, we discuss the unique challenges of this crisis with a particular focus on how the pandemic has led to intersecting losses that have been exacerbated by ongoing socia...
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The present study examined critical consciousness in a sample of 476 adults of color from a Psychology of Working perspective. Using structural equation modeling, we tested three components of critical consciousness—perceived inequality, egalitarian beliefs, and sociopolitical participation—as moderators of relations between marginalization, econom...
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Maternity leave includes the time that mothers take off from work to care for their baby and heal after childbirth. The United States’ maternity leave provisions lag behind other industrialized countries, resulting in poor quality maternity leave (QML) for many mothers. Accordingly, scholars have begun examining QML, a new construct that captures m...
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Converging forces have led to an increase in precarious work, which threatens the health and well-being of workers globally and in the United States. Scholars in many fields are studying the implications of precarious work, and work psychologists have contributed to this literature by studying constructs such as job insecurity, underemployment, and...
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The strengths-based inclusive theory of work and psychology of working theory propose that fulfilling work is a key outcome of the vocational intervention. Scholars have further argued that fulfilling work is the holistic experience of well-being in the workplace and can be assessed with meaningful work, work engagement, workplace positive emotions...
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Scholarship devoted to first-generation college students has increased rapidly over the past decade, with studies demonstrating first-generation students are systematically disadvantaged compared to their continuing-generation peers. Recently, scholars have critiqued the treatment of first-generation students as a monolith and encouraged complicati...
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Building from psychology of working theory, this study tested how critical consciousness, composed of perceived inequality, egalitarianism, and critical action, moderate the relations between contextual barriers (i.e., economic constraints and classism) and psychological variables (i.e., work volition and career adaptability) with a sample of 403 e...
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The goal of the current study was to examine longitudinal relations among predictors of decent work within Psychology of Working Theory (PWT). Data were collected from a large group of employed adults (N = 1540) at three-time points over six months. Multilevel modeling was used to test for the between and within-person effects of four predictor var...
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The purpose of the current study was to validate the Turkish version of the Subjective Under-employment Scales (SUS; Allan et al., 2017), a recently developed measure aimed at assessing the six components of underemployment: pay, status, field, hours, involuntary temporary work, and poverty-wage employment. The proposed six-factor structure of the...
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The purpose of this study was to examine whether planning leisure resulted in more positive outcomes among undergraduate students. Using empirical and theoretical evidence as a guide, we conducted an experiment in which we directed participants to plan a leisure activity each day for six days. We hypothesized that planning leisure would lead people...
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The purpose of this study was to develop and provide initial validity evidence for the College Social–Emotional Crossroads Inventory (C-SECI). A sample (N = 751) of undergraduate students was randomly split into two samples for exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Results of exploratory factor analysis indicated that three factors should b...
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Using the Psychology of Working Theory as a guide, the goal of this study was to examine the longitudinal relations of economic deprivation to work volition and work volition to academic satisfaction among college students. We sampled 1508 students and surveyed them at three time points over a 6-month period. We found that economic deprivation part...
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Underemployment is a multidimensional construct that captures various suboptimal work statuses. Although recent economic depressions and insecure job markets in Korea have increased underemployment, no appropriate scale exists to measure underemployment in a Korean context. Therefore, the aim of this study was to translate the Subjective Underemplo...
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This essay represents the collective vision of a group of scholars in vocational psychology who have sought to develop a research agenda in response to the massive global unemployment crisis that has been evoked by the COVID-19 pandemic. The research agenda includes exploring how this unemployment crisis may differ from previous unemployment period...
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A fundamental proposition of the psychology of working theory is that for work to be meaningful, it must first be decent. The psychology of working theory also suggests that decent work leads to meaningful work partly by helping workers meet their needs for social connection. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to contribute to both the...
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Recent trends in the labor market-marked by instability and insecurity-have further ignited a discourse on the significance of decent work in people's lives. Scholars have mostly studied the multidimensional decent work construct using the composite scores of the Decent Work Scale (DWS; Duffy et al., 2017). However, there may be different combinati...
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The current special issue of the Journal of Vocational Behavior focuses on an exploration of decent work in different national contexts. Specifically, the special issue consists of eight papers written by research teams from eight different countries. In each article, researchers developed a reliable instrument to assess decent work with clear evid...
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Half of college student attrition occurs in the first year of college, so identifying factors that contribute to student satisfaction is an important target for research. Knowledge and use of one’s strengths are two such variables associated with academic and life satisfaction, but studies establishing these relations have been largely cross-sectio...
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Using latent deprivation theory as a guide, this study examined financial and experiential deprivation as moderators of the relation between involuntary part-time work and life satisfaction in a large sample of United States college graduates (N = 61,251). We also examined mean differences in financial deprivation, experiential deprivation, and lif...
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Maternity leave is not federally guaranteed or paid in the United States. Although there has been an increase of women in the workforce, federal maternity leave policy has not changed since the adoption of the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993. The subjective quality of this maternity leave is likely an important component of what mothers percei...
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This paper describes a new vocational theory—the strengths-based inclusive theory of work (S-BIT of Work). This theory addresses the ever-changing, dynamic nature of the world of work and integrates counseling psychology’s core values of emphasizing vocational psychology, strengths-based perspectives, multiculturalism, and social justice. We aim to...
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Surveying a diverse sample of working adults, the current study examined the role of socioeconomic privilege in workers’ desire for and experience of meaningful work. First, we tested for differences across social status groups in desire for and experience of meaningful work, finding that, although desire for meaningful work was consistent across g...
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This study examines why people who believe in gender equality vary in their degree of activist participation. We conducted one study to assess whether US participants’ (N = 333) perceived behavioral or belief inconsistencies, or perceived knowledge deficits, predicted feminist self-identification and activism. Results demonstrated that the effect o...
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The psychology of working theory (PWT; Duffy, Blustein, Diemer, & Autin, 2016) provides a framework to understand predictors and outcomes of decent work. Given that basic need satisfaction is hypothesized to be a primary mediator in the link between decent work and well-being, it is essential to have valid and reliable scales that are consistent wi...
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Following from the strengths-based inclusive theory of work (S-BIT of Work), fulfilling work is a central goal of career and work counseling. However, vocational psychologists have yet to develop a comprehensive model of fulfilling work. We addressed this concern by reviewing the literature on well-being, developing the fulfilling work construct, a...
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Several recent studies have examined the predictor portion of the Psychology of Working Theory (PWT; Duffy, Blustein, Diemer, & Autin, 2016), finding support for numerous propositions while also identifying limitations in the assessment of key variables: economic constraints, marginalization, and career adaptability. In the current manuscript we se...
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Using the strengths-based inclusive theory of work as a framework, this paper describes how positive psychological interventions (PPIs) can be infused within career and work counseling for diverse populations. Exemplar constructs targeted in the interventions include hope, strengths, adaptability, and empowerment. First, we discuss research related...
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Underemployment is a global problem that is increasing in the context of recovering economic recessions and insecure job markets. In this context, vocational psychologists can play a unique role by determining the processes by which underemployment relates to aspects of work well-being, such as meaningful work. Therefore, the goal of this study was...
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The goals of this study were to examine the relations between underemployment, meaningful work, and well-being and evaluate whether the relation between underemployment and well-being was moderated by meaningful work. In a diverse sample of working adults, meaningful work significantly moderated the relation between underemployment and positive aff...
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The present study used a psychology of working theory (PWT) framework to test the direct and indirect relations of perceived social status and transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) marginalization (i.e., victimization, nonaffirmation of gender identity, negative expectations for the future) with work volition, overqualification, and vocationa...
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With more individuals wanting their work to be meaningful, rather than just a source of income, more organizations recognize that fostering meaningful work is crucial for engaging their employees. Although scholars from diverse disciplines have made valuable efforts to examine how individual, job, organizational, and societal factors contribute to...
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The present study tested key tenets of the Psychology of Working Theory (PWT) in a sample of 526 racially and ethnically diverse employed adults. The authors investigated how economic resources and marginalization predicted decent work through experiences of work volition and career adaptability. Support for the hypotheses was mixed. There was a di...
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People who identify as sexual minorities consistently face barriers to decent and meaningful employment, especially when coupled with additional constraints such as low socioeconomic status or marginalization experiences. Drawing from the psychology of working theory as our theoretical framework, this study examined the relations of economic constr...
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The primary goal of this study was to examine the relations from counselors’ character strengths to burnout via the potential mediating effect of meaningful work. We also compared mean levels of counselors’ character strengths to population means and conducted regression analyses to examine which character strengths uniquely predicted meaningful wo...
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The goals of the current study were to evaluate task significance as a longitudinal predictor of meaningful work and to test moderators of this relation. A large sample of working adults completed surveys at three time points over a sixth month period. Supporting hypotheses, task significance significantly predicted meaningful work over time, but m...
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The aim of the current research was to examine whether manipulating task significance increased the meaningfulness of work among students (Study 1), an online sample of working adults (Study 2), and public university employees (Study 3). In Study 1, students completed a typing task for the benefit of themselves, a charity, or someone they knew woul...
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Decent work is positioned as the centerpiece of the recently developed Psychology of Working Theory (PWT; Duffy, Blustein, Diemer, & Autin, 2016). However, to date, no instrument exists which assesses all 5 components of decent work from a psychological perspective. In the current study, we developed the Decent Work Scale (DWS) and demonstrated sev...
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Underemployment refers to work that is inferior to certain standards, such as sufficient pay or adequate use of people's abilities. Current measurement of underemployment has a number of problems, including categorization of continuous variables, lack of conceptual clarity, and overreliance on objective and single-item scales. To address these issu...
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The job characteristics model (JCM) predicts that task significance and work meaningfulness are related to greater job performance and that meaningfulness mediates the relation between task significance and job performance. However, these propositions have received limited attention, especially when linking meaningful work to job performance. There...
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Research has found perceived discrimination to be a risk factor for mental health concerns among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people, but less clarity exists linking perceived discrimination with well-being outcomes. Building from Meyer’s (2003) minority stress model, the present study examined the links between perceived discrimination and the...
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Building from the Psychology of Working Theory, we explore relations between subjective social status, work volition, and career adaptability over time in a sample of 267 undergraduate students. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing study variables in three waves over a period of six months. Structural equation modeling was used to exami...
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Background: Depression, anxiety and stress are common problems for modern workers. Although having meaningful work, or work that is significant, facilitates personal growth, and contributes to the greater good, has been linked to better mental health, people’s work might also need to be satisfying or enjoyable to improve outcomes. Aims: The purpose...
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The current study examined moderator variables that may accentuate the effect of perceiving a calling on well-being amongst a large and diverse sample of working adults (N = 746). Drawing from Self Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2000) and the Psychology of Working Theory (PWT: Duffy, Blustein, Diemer, & Autin, 2016), perceiving a calling w...
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Despite the many studies examining the impact of unemployment, underemployment has often been neglected in psychology. Moreover, problems exist with the measurement of underemployment, including categorization of continuous variables and neglect of overemployment. In the current study, we used a new method of measuring underemployment, polynomial r...
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Assessing the value of meaningful work among undergraduate students is important for guiding career counseling, especially because today’s students are often stereotyped as entitled and uninterested in prosocial or meaningful work. Additionally, understanding the value of meaningful work from the perspectives of career counselors would clarify if s...
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The present study examined the cross-cultural validity of instruments used to assess the experience of searching for, having, and living out a calling. Using a sample of 336 Americans and 327 Indians, we used structural equation modeling to assess measurement invariance of three common scales used to measure calling: the Calling and Vocation Questi...
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The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of classism that may explain links between social class, first-generation college student status, and academic and well-being outcomes. Specifically, with a sample of 1,225 college students from a public university, we examined social class and first-generation status as predictors of institution...
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This study examined a model of meaningful work among a diverse sample of working adults. From the perspectives of Self-Determination Theory and the Psychology of Working Framework, we tested a structural model with social class and work volition predicting SDT motivation variables, which in turn predicted meaningful work. Partially supporting hypot...
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As the importance of social justice advocacy is increasingly emphasized in vocational psychology, it is imperative for researchers to explore the development of individuals’ interest in and commitment to social justice work. With a diverse sample of 298 undergraduate students, this study sought to replicate findings from Miller et al. which support...
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Previous research on calling has resulted in a model that relates living a calling to life satisfaction through job satisfaction and life meaning. However, no research has examined this model in a lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) population. With a sample of 171 sexual minority adults, the current study aimed to (a) test the fit of an established model...
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Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is a therapeutic approach focusing on the role of interpersonal dynamics in creating psychological difficulties that may be particularly relevant to the field of counselling psychology. IPT’s development within randomized controlled trials in the 1970s resulted in a strong empirical foundation without a cohesive th...
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The present article examined predictors of work volition, or the perception of control in one’s future career decision making, with two samples of undergraduate students. Building from the Psychology of Working Framework, in Study 1, a hierarchical regression analysis was conducted examining four classes of potential predictors: demographic charact...
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The present study examined the relations between work stress and both the presence of and search for meaning in life. Three components of meaningful work—positive meaning, meaning-making, and greater good motivations—were investigated as potential moderators. As hypothesized, work stress had a significant, negative relation with the presence of mea...
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In the current manuscript, we examined how calling functions among samples of involuntarily unemployed adults. In Study 1, with a large Internet-based sample, involuntarily unemployed adults were just as likely as employed adults to perceive a calling, but were significantly less likely to feel they were living a calling. In Study 2, with a sample...
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The present study examined correlates of work volition—the perceived capacity to make occupational choices despite constraints—with a diverse sample of 213 U.S. veterans. Veterans with higher levels of formal education, higher yearly incomes, were married, and were employed, endorsed greater work volition. Those who experienced lower posttraumatic...
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This study examined linear and nonlinear relations between age and the presence and search for meaning in life and examined if these relations were moderated by the presence of meaning in work. Age did not significantly relate to the presence of meaning in life, but age had a significant, negative linear relation with the search for meaning in life...
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The current study examined predictors and outcomes of a career calling among 292 undergraduate students at two time points over a three-month period. Using structural equation modeling, a model was tested that examined the extent to which calling, life meaning, the search for life meaning, vocational clarity, and personal growth at Time 1 would pre...
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Using self-determination theory as a guiding framework, the purpose of this study was to investigate if mindfulness and meaning in life were correlated and if the four components of authenticity (i.e., awareness, unbiased processing, behavior, and relational orientation) mediated this relation. We tested this with a multiple mediator model using bo...
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The current study examined the link between living a calling and career commitment, work meaning, and job satisfaction with a diverse group of working adults at 3 time points over a 6-month period. Using structural equation modeling, 3 models were tested that hypothesized that living a calling would predict career commitment, work meaning, and job...
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The current study examined the role of work volition within social cognitive career theory (SCCT; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994) with a sample of 292 undergraduate students in science-related majors. Students with higher levels of volition endorsed higher levels of science self-efficacy, outcome expectations, interests, and goals. Analyses revealed...
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Several scholars have suggested that character strengths are interdependent and should be in balance for a meaningful and fulfilling life, but this hypothesis has not been tested. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess if the degree of agreement between selected character strength pairs was positively related to meaning in life and if the l...
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Purpose and meaning in career development is a rapidly growing, cross-disciplinary area of research and practice in which counseling and vocational psychology aligns with positive psychology to yield promising applications to career counseling. We provide a brief overview of theory related to purpose and meaning in work, then review six specific ar...
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This study examined the relation between signature strengths use and satisfaction with a sample of diverse undergraduate students. We measured strengths use and satisfaction in both the life and academic domains and identified two possible moderators of this relation: the level of one’s signature strengths and the presence of calling. Results revea...
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This study examined the utility of five popular assessments of work as a calling. A large and diverse group of working adults completed the Calling Paragraph, Brief Calling Scale (BCS), Calling and Vocation Questionnaire (CVQ), Calling Scale (CS), and Multidimensional Calling Measure (MCM) at two time points, along with a face valid measure of havi...
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Research suggests that patients' interactions with their front desk office staff and patient-centered culturally sensitive health care are important factors in diverse patients' overall health care satisfaction. Yet, patient-centered culturally sensitive health care research has focused almost exclusively on provider care. This study tested the hyp...
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This study examined the endorsement of three different sources of a calling—external summons, destiny, and perfect fit—and how the endorsement of these sources related to levels of living a calling, job satisfaction, and life satisfaction. With a sample of 200 employed adults, participants were asked to select a source group that best described whe...
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In this article, we used the psychology of working framework to examine how social class relates to the experience of meaningful work with two samples of working adults. In Study 1, participants in higher social classes were more likely to experience work meaning than people in lower social classes. Regardless of class, participants reported servin...
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The present study interviewed 17 of the most research-productive counseling psychologists within APA-accredited counseling psychology programs. Using Consensual Qualitative Research, seven domains emerged from the interviews: root of productivity, personality characteristics, productivity strategies, work environment, nonwork life, impact, and tips...
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The present study examined the role of goals in the relation between calling and life satisfaction in a diverse, adult sample. Building off the self-concordance model of goal progress, the current study explored whether career goal self-efficacy (CGSE) mediated the relation between calling and life satisfaction and whether this mediation was modera...
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This study examined the interaction of the Thanksgiving holiday with gratitude in relation to well-being using a three-week long, daily diary design with a sample of 172 undergraduate students. Multilevel modeling revealed that without controlling for gratitude, people reported higher levels of positive affect on Thanksgiving holiday than during ot...
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The present study examined the relation of career calling to life satisfaction among a diverse sample of 553 working adults, with a specific focus on the distinction between perceiving a calling (sensing a calling to a career) and living a calling (actualizing one's calling in one's current career). As hypothesized, the relation of perceiving a cal...