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
Doctor of Education
Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Postsecondary Education
Michael Waggoner, Committee Chair
1 PDF file (vii, 115 pages)
©2009 Karen Cunningham
Cunningham, Karen, "The effect of self-efficacy and psychosocial development on the factors that influence major changing behavior" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 674.