Date of Award

Summer 2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Tony Young


Racial identity has been related to a variety of interpersonal, psychological, behavioral, environmental, and cognitive factors. Although Black racial identity is often researched in relation to career development, there are few studies examining the relationship between career development and White racial identity. Additionally, review of the career development studies that focused on Black racial identity reveals that they have failed to consider the role of social cognitive factors, instead using traditional career models that were created from the standpoint of middleclass non-minorities. The focus of this study was to examine the distinct relationship between Black and White racial identity and career decision-making self-efficacy.

Ninety-six African-American students and 363 Caucasian students participated in this study. The hypotheses were tested using the Black Racial Identity Attitude Scale, White Racial Identity Attitude Scale, Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy Scale, and a demographic questionnaire. Review of the findings demonstrated support for some of the hypotheses but not for others. Correlational analyses found that career decision-making self-efficacy was related to PreEncounter, Immersion/Emersion, and Internalization attitudes of the Black racial identity model. In the White racial identity model, career decision-making self-efficacy was related to Disintegration, Reintegration, Pseudo-independent, and Autonomy attitudes. Analysis of the multiple regression model suggested significant findings for the PreEncounter and Internalization attitudes of Black racial identity and the Pseudo-independent attitude of White racial identity. Therefore, these attitudes significantly predicted career decision-making self-efficacy. The results suggested that career decision-making self-efficacy could be predicted by certain Black and White racial identity attitudes. The overall findings were discussed relative to considerations for racial identity when assisting college-aged clients in career counseling.