black racial identity development, urban high school, black high school students, career thoughts inventory


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between racial identity development and career thoughts for Black seniors at an urban high school. The available population was 557 Black senior students at a high school in Orange County, Florida. With respect to this population, socioeconomic status, influences on career interest, parental level of education, parental occupations, post-secondary intentions, and plans to take the SAT or ACT were some of the specific demographic variables that were analyzed. Results from a variety of simple regression analyses revealed significant positive relationships between Black seniors' perceptions of their racial identity development and their career thoughts. By way of simple regression analysis, the five variables (domains) of the Black Racial Identity Attitude Scale were analyzed in relation to the three variables (domains) of the Career Thoughts Inventory and demographic variables. With the exception of the internalization stage of Black racial identity development, statistically significant relationships were found between each of the stages of Black racial identity development (preencounter, encounter, and immersion /emersion) and the measures of the Career Thoughts Inventory (decision making confusion, external conflict, commitment anxiety). Results of the data suggest that individuals in the preencounter, encounter, and immersion /emersion stages of Black racial identity development will have moderate to high scores with respect to decision making confusion, external conflict, commitment anxiety, and negative career thoughts overall. In other words, the less developed one's racial identity, the greater the likelihood of a higher degree of negative thoughts about career and career choice. As well, the results, for the most part, supported the proposed hypotheses. This initial investigation should be replicated using a large sample size and other statistical analyses in order to ascertain more and in order to more accurately determine the nature of the relationship between racial identity development and career development for Blacks.


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Graduation Date





Hayes, Grant


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education


Child, Family, and Community Sciences

Degree Program

Counselor Education








Release Date

December 2004

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until December 2004; it will then be open access.