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Wright, Stephen

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Sexual assault rates are a rising concern, particularly on college campuses. The impacts of being a victim of sexual assault were well documented in the research and spread from academic decline to negative mental health outcomes to career path derailment. Career construction theory suggested a critical developmental time period for young adults where pieces of their environment, past experiences, and personal characteristics informed their career decisions. Career adaptability is a foundational piece of career construction theory that consists of psychosocial, internal resources developmentally related to how a person learns and advances in their career goals. Grit was identified in the research as a character trait studied with academic and career success and conceptually appeared to overlap with career adaptability. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between sexual assault victimization and career adaptability among college undergraduate students as well as what role grit might play in this relationship. This study analyzed the relationship between sexual assault victimization and career adaptability, and whether grit played a moderating role on that relationship. A sample of 292 college undergraduate students participated to address these questions. No significant findings were uncovered to support the potential impacts of sexual assault on career adaptability nor the moderating role of grit. An unexpected finding was discovered supporting a predictive relationship between grit and career adaptability. Theoretical, practical, and diversity implications were discussed as well as future research directions.


154 pages

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