Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


University of Northern Iowa--Students--Psychology; College majors--Iowa--Cedar Falls; Self-efficacy;


This quantitative research study sought to determine the factors that distinguish those students who are classified as “major-changers” from those who are classified as “relatively stable” (never changing their initial major or changing only once or twice). Participants of this study were full-time undergraduate students attending the University of Northern Iowa. The following variables were measured as possible factors influencing major-changing behavior: (a) level of psychosocial development, (b) level of self-efficacy, and (c) level of parental education. The Life-Skills Inventory–College Form (LSDI-CF) was used to measure students' level of psychosocial development and the General Self-efficacy Scale (GSES) was used to measure students' level of self-efficacy. Four main research questions framed this study: (a) which factors distinguish those students who change their major multiple times from those who remain relatively stable? (b) how does perceived level of self-efficacy influence a person's ability to make decisions? (c) how does a person's psychosocial development affect their ability to make decisions? and, (d) is there a relationship between parental education and major-changing behavior?

Several statistically significant differences between major-changers and relatively stable students were found. Major-changers reported a lower level of self-efficacy than relatively stable students, and those students classified as “relatively stable” were found to have a higher level of self-perception on the Problem-Solving/Decision-Making Subscale on the Life-Skills Development Inventory than those students classified as major-changers. There were no significant differences found between major-changers and relatively stable students on level of parental education.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Postsecondary Education

First Advisor

Michael Waggoner, Committee Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 115 pages)



File Format