Dissertation Information for Heidi Elizabeth Julien
- Heidi Elizabeth Julien
- Library and Information Science
- University of Western Ontario (Canada) (1997)
- Gillian Michell
- Catherine Ross
- Anne Louise Cummings
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: How does information help? The search for career-related information by adolescents
Abstract: Current understanding of how adolescents seek information for career decision-making is limited. However, career decisions are among the most critical issues facing adolescents, and the implications of the decisions have long term consequences. Dervin's (1983; 1992) sense-making theory, Kuhlthau's (1991) information seeking process (ISP) theory, and decision-making theory (Harren 1979) were used to investigate and interpret adolescents' career decision making.
The objectives of the study were to determine what information sources adolescents use when making career decisions, how these sources help, and what barriers to information access exist in this context. Gender differences were expected in adolescents' responses to these questions (Gilligan et al. 1988; Gilligan et al. 1990; Belenky et al. 1986). The research data were collected using a written questionnaire surveying 399 twelfth grade students, and from interviews with 15 male and 15 female adolescents from the pool of questionnaire respondents.
Informal sources of help were particularly important, especially if these provided both instrumental and emotional types of help. The sources of help most used and most useful are those that are familiar, accessible, human, and trustworthy. The trust placed in the information provider and in the accuracy of information provided was critical. When information providers were "attentive" and "reassuring", their help was particularly valued. The public library was rated poorly as a source of help.
Many respondents did not understand what decisions they needed to make, and felt anxious about the process of decision making. Some felt overwhelmed by the complexity of formal information systems such as libraries. Information scatter was also a barrier, since respondents felt that there were too many places to go for help.
This study confirmed that Dervin's sense making framework can be fruitfully applied to this context. The data suggested only limited similarities between career decision-making and Kuhlthau's ISP theory. Harren's theory of decision-making styles proved to be too restrictive, since the research participants demonstrated a combination of various aspects of decision making style. Few gender differences were found, except that female respondents appeared to conduct more information seeking than males, and appeared to conduct more self-assessment as they made their career decisions.
MPACT Scores for Heidi Elizabeth Julien
A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:26:50
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