Decision-making self-efficacy mediates the peer support–career exploration relationship

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Huafeng Zhang
Haitao Huang
Cite this article:  Zhang, H., & Huang, H. (2018). Decision-making self-efficacy mediates the peer support–career exploration relationship. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 46(3), 485-498.


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We explored the mediating effect of decision-making self-efficacy in the relationship between undergraduates’ perceived career-related peer support and career exploration. Participants were 650 junior and senior undergraduates from 6 public universities in Shanghai, China. The key results were as follows: (1) career information and suggestion, emotional support, and peer role models were the 3 dominant factors of career-related peer support; (2) career-related peer support was positively and significantly correlated with career exploration; and (3) career decision-making self-efficacy mediated the relationship between career-related peer support and career exploration. Specifically, career information and suggestion and peer role models provided proximal and distal support, promoting individuals’ career exploration not only directly but also indirectly through career decision-making self-efficacy. In comparison, emotional support from peers provided only distal support, promoting individual career exploration indirectly through career decision-making self-efficacy. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings, study limitations, and future research directions are discussed.

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