Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Patrick Armstrong

Second Advisor

David Vogel


Career distress has a negative effect on college retention rates (Sharkin, 2004), psychological well-being (Hartman & Fuqua, 1983) and future career choices (Turner & Berry, 2000). While career indecision and the related distress it causes can be reduced with appropriate sources of help, many students do not seek these services. Few studies have examined the factors that lead to avoidance of the use of career service on college campuses. Therefore, to address this omission in the literature, the current investigation explored the links between indices related to career/major distress (i.e., congruence/incongruence) and help-seeking attitudes among a sample of college undergraduates (N = 741). Results of regression analyses suggest that incongruence, as measured by Occupational Euclidean Distance, uniquely predicted 2.7% of the variance in attitudes towards seeking professional help. Furthermore, this link was moderated by one unique career-related factor (i.e., career decision-making self-efficacy) and by the interaction of gender and self-stigma associated with seeking counseling. Specifically, the addition of the interaction terms added an additional 1.7 percent to the variance of the regression model including all study variables. Implications for researchers and clinicians interested in understanding incongruence and enhancing career service utilization are discussed.


Copyright Owner

Sara Schwatken



File Format


File Size

158 pages

Included in

Psychology Commons