First Advisor

Wright, Stephen L.

Document Type


Date Created


Embargo Date



Emphasizing purpose and meaning in work, career calling has experienced substantial growth in vocational research among college students due to beneficial effects on academic and life satisfaction. Application of vocational theory is needed and this study investigated calling from an integrated social cognitive career theory (SCCT) and attachment theory perspective. Using structural equation modeling in a sample of 433 students, competing theoretical models were tested. The alternative model best fit the data, finding anxious and avoidant attachment to have direct negative effects on career decision self-efficacy (CDSE), and college adjustment, and indirect negative effects on life satisfaction. Avoidant, but not anxious, attachment had a direct negative effect on career calling, which subsequently had direct positive effects on CDSE and college adjustment. CDSE and college adjustment both had positive direct effects on life satisfaction and mediated the positive effect of career calling. These results constitute original findings linking attachment and career calling, while also supporting the integration of career calling and SCCT. Insecure attachment may cause barriers to career calling development, CDSE, and college adjustment, while career calling may improve these variables and indirectly benefit life satisfaction among college students. Results may be particularly relevant to counseling psychologists and providers in university counseling. Theoretical, research, and practical applications are discussed.


attachment theory, career calling, college adjustment, self-efficacy, social cognitive career theory


288 pages

Rights Statement

Copyright belongs to the author.