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The searching of vocation : Macao college students' vocational identity formation and status / by Ouyang Baixiao.

English Abstract

This study investigated vocational search experiences of college students in Macao through the theoretical framework of process-oriented identity formation (Grotevant, 1987). Collaborations and interactions between individuals and social context at a specific life stage were emphasized as an elaboration to this theoretical framework. It aimed to contribute to the extant identity literature with empirical evidences about college students‘ vocational identity development in the Chinese cultural and turbulently transformed economic context of Macao. This study adopted a mix-method research design. The qualitative part of research was conducted first and guided the quantitative part. In-depth interview and thematic analysis were adopted to investigate the research question on vocational identity formation. Based on 19 local college students, themes on vocational expectations, exploration, and commitment statuses were identified. On vocational expectation, it was found that Macao college students expected to achieve favorable life situations and roles in which they could act out their selves through future vocation. These vocational expectations meant to obtain autonomy and take responsibility as adult, and also to maintain unique self and connections with communities they lived in. On vocational exploration, it was found that students perceived and negotiated with constraints conferred by economic and social environments, and also evaluated and created vocational options with accessible resources and channels. Themes on vocational commitment situations indicated the extent of coherence between vocational decisions and their existing vocational constructs, openness to possible changes of these decisions in the future, tendencies of delaying decision-makings, and self-doubts in accomplishing vocational goals. iv The quantitative component identified vocational identity status among 245 Macao college students. This part of research adopted an extant three-dimensional measure model and expanded its item contents based on the previous qualitative findings. Consequently, the constructs of original model were modified, and six statuses were identified. These six statuses included two original identity statuses, namely foreclosure and moratorium, and two variations of diffusion and achievement respectively, namely carefree diffusion and diffused diffusion, and independent achievement and interdependent achievement. Implications on theory development, counseling and educational practices, and future research were also discussed.

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Ouyang, Bai Xiao


Faculty of Education




Career development -- Macau

事業發展 -- 澳門

Occupations -- Decision-making

職業 -- 決策

College students -- Macau

大專學生 -- 澳門



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