HomePhilippine Journal of Counseling Psychologyvol. 17 no. 1 (2015)

Career Indecision of Filipino College Students: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective

Angela Luisa Abaya-Garcia



Self-Determination Theory states that conditions which meet one’s need for competence, autonomy and relatedness facilitate volitional functioning. The present study investigated whether meeting one’s needs for competence and autonomy impacts career decision-making of Filipino college students, and in doing so, extends the literature that examines SDT from a cross-cultural perspective. Results from structural equation modeling (SEM) showed that – in line with SDT’s theoretical assumptions – autonomy support from significant others contributed to higher levels of career decision-making efficacy and autonomy, subsequently associated with lower degree of career indecision. Incompetence feedback, however, was also found to contribute to higher levels of career decision-making efficacy, contrary to what one would expect from an SDT standpoint. The current study discusses the need to further consider how SDT constructs apply to collectivistic cultures. It presents implications for guiding Filipino adolescents’ career decision-making, given the nuances of choosing a career path in a typical Filipino family.