Date of Award

Fall 12-1-2018

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Melanie Leuty

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Emily Bullock-Yowell

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Bonnie Nicholson

Committee Member 3 School



Social class is often examined across social science disciplines and contains two distinct parts: socioeconomic status (SES) and subjective social status (SSS). Researchers have established that college students from various SES backgrounds experience college differently, however little research has examined how universities and those that work with college students can help aid the career development of students given their SES. Career development is a broad area of research; therefore, the current study examines a number of career development variables that are key in understanding college students’ career development, such as career adaptability, career decision-making difficulty, work values, and vocational interests. All can influence career development in different ways and have been found to be directly related to job satisfaction and positive mental health outcomes. Therefore, the current study examined how SES and SSS interact to predict career adaptability, career decision-making difficulty, work values, vocational interests, and interest-major congruence. Results suggest a significant relationship between social class and the work values of Comfort and Safety. Implications and limitations of findings are discussed.