Multimethod analysis of social support and career self -efficacy among gay, lesbian and bisexual persons




Preston-Sternberg, Martina M.

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Gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) individuals are referred to as 'the hidden minority' due to the invisible nature of sexual orientation and the lack of research concerning the GLB population (Fassinger, 1991; Jennings, 1994). This is unfortunate, as the sexual orientation of this minority influences many factors in their daily lives, from income to social identity to career development. For instance, Hetherington (1991) hypothesized that self-identified GLB individuals may, as a whole, suffer from a bottleneck effect in career development. As such, this study was designed to examine the relationship between social support and career decision-making self-efficacy among GLB persons. This study used quantitative and qualitative data collected from measures and interviews to study the relationships. I interviewed GLB persons in order to investigate social support, career decision-making self-efficacy, as well as emerging themes, using a control group of heterosexuals for comparison.

A statistical difference was found (p < .05) among three of the four categories on the multi-dimensional scale of perceived social support. The only category with no statistical difference was on the gay friends scale. A statistical difference between sexual orientation was also found in the results of the career decision making scale of self-efficacy- short form. Findings suggest there is a relationship between social support and career decision making among GLB persons.


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Bisexual, career, Gay, Lesbian, Social, Support