Loci of Causality and Orientation in Occupational and Educational Choices
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A student self-determination profile of occupational and educational choices was examined through the concepts of Locus of Causality and Locus of Orientation. Research questions associated with respondents’ certainty of occupation and orientation to vocational education were answered. The tested hypotheses were as follows: (a) Independence, initiative, self-guidance, choice of discussion forums, and gender are related to certainty of future occupation choice and choice of vocational education; (b) certainty of occupation relates to choosing vocational education; (c) negatively biased media lessens interest in vocational education; and (d) vocational education choices are related to gender. A survey of ninth-grade students in Finnish comprehensive school was conducted after implementation of a work-orientation program defined in the national comprehensive school curriculum. At the local school system level, 649 subjects of the mean ages of 16.0 years participated in an Internet survey in two school districts in southwestern Finland in 2008. The variables were inserted in Linear Multiple Regression Analysis in IBM SPSS. The means of vocational school choice and certainty of occupation, and vocational school choice and negative media image were compared in SPSS means. An independent-samples t test for vocational school choice and sex was conducted. Statistically significant regression models of loci of orientation and locus of causality were found. The more the respondents were certain of their occupation choice, the more they expressed their secondary education orientation to be vocational school. When students discussed their choices less at home, their orientation to vocational education weakened. A negative media image was not associated with vocational school choice in this data. The measured means for girls’ and boys’ orientations to vocational school did not show statistically significant differences.