The Importance of Partner Involvement in Determining Career Decision-Making Difficulties


  • Danielle C. Brosseau Trinity Western University
  • José F. Domene University of New Brunswick
  • Todd W. Dutka Trinity Western University


partner, career, career decision making, involvment


Investigating the impact of systemic factors on career decision-making has become essential to ensure decision-making models remain relevant for today’s
workforce. The present study explored the connections between romantic partner involvement and career decisionmaking difficulties. Eligible participants
(N = 105) were between the ages of 20 and 40 and currently involved in a committed romantic relationship of at least one year in duration. Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that, after accounting for gender, age and school status, level of partner involvement was a small but significant predictor of career decision-making difficulties. Limitations and implications for future research and practice are discussed.


Amir, T., & Gati, I. (2006). Facets of career decision-making difficulties. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 34, 483-503.

Amir, T., Gati, I., & Kleiman, T. (2008). Understanding and interpreting career decision-making difficulties. Journal of Career Assessment, 16, 281-309.

Blustein, D. L., & Fouad, N. A. (2008). Changing face of vocational psychology: The transforming world of work. In W. B. Walsh (Ed.), Biennial review of counseling

psychology: Volume 1 (pp. 129- 155). New York: Routledge.

Chope, R. C. (2008). Practice and research in career counseling and development - 2007. The Career Development Quarterly, 57, 98- 173.

Collin, A. (2006). Conceptualising the family-friendly career: The contribution of career theories and a systems approach. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 34, 295-307.

Gati, I., & Asher, I. (2001). Prescreening, in-depth exploration and choice: From decision theory to career counseling practice. The Career Development Quarterly, 50,


Gati, I., Krausz, M., & Osipow, S. H. (1996). A taxonomy of difficulties in career decision making. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 43, 510- 526.

Gorall, D. M., Tiesel, J. W., & Olson, D. H. (2006). FACES IV: Development and validation. Retrieved November 5, 2006, from

Gottman, J. M. (1994). Why marriages succeed or fail. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Gottman, J. M. (1998). Psychology and the study of marital processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 169-198

Frone, M. R. (2003). Work-family balance. In J. C. Quick & L. E. Tetrick (Eds.), Handbook of Occupational Health Psychology (pp. 143-162). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Hargrove, B., K., Creagh, M. G., & Burgess, B. L. (2002). Family interaction patterns as predictors of vocational identity and career decision-making self-efficacy. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 61, 185-201.

Holman, T. B., Jarvis, M. O. (2003). Hostile, volatile, avoiding, and validating couple-conflict types: An investigation of Gottman’s couple-conflict types. Personal Relationships, 10, 267-282.

Kleiman, T., Gati, I., Peterson, G., Sampson, J., Reardon, R., & Lenz, J. (2004). Dysfunctional thinking and difficulties in career decision making. Journal of Career Assessment, 12, 312-331.

McMahon, M., Watson, M., & Patton, W. (2005). Qualitative career assessment: Developing the My System of Career Influences reflection activity. Journal of Career Assessment, 13, 476-491.

Okubo, Y., Yeh, C. J., Lin, P.-Y., & Fujita, K. (2007). The career decision-making process of Chinese American youth. Journal of Counseling & Development, 85, 440-449.

Patton, W., & McMahon, M. (1999). Career development and systems theory: A new relationship. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Pixley, J. E. (2008). Life-course patterns of career-prioritizing decisions and occupational attainment in dual earner couples. Work and Occupations, 35, 127- 163.

Roest, A. M. C., Dubas, J. S., Gerris, J. R. M., & Rutger, C. M. E. (2006). Disentangling value similarities and transmissions in established marriages: A cross-lagged longitudinal study. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68, 1132- 1146.

Saka, N., & Gati, I. (2007). Emotional and personality-related aspects of persistent career decision-making difficulties. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 71, 340-358.

Saka, N., Gati, I., & Kelly, K. R. (2008). Emotional and personality related aspects of career-decision making difficulties. Journal of Career Assessment, 16, 403-424.Shea, M. M., Ma, P. W., & Yeh, C. J. (2007). Development of a culturally specific career exploration group for urban Chinese immigrant youth. The Career Development Quarterly, 56, 62-73.

Spiker-Miller, S., & Kees, N. (1995). Making career development a reality for dual career couples. Journal of Employment Counseling, 32, 32-45.

Stephens, M. A. P., Fekete, E. M., Franks, M. M., Rook, K. S., Druley, J. A., & Greene, K. (2009). Spouses’ use of pressure and persuasion to promote osteoarthritis patients’ medical adherence after orthopedic surgery. Health Psychology, 28, 48-55.

Whiston, S. C., & Keller, B. K. (2004). The influences of the family of origin on career development: A review and analysis. The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 493-568.




How to Cite

Brosseau, D. C. ., Domene, J. F. ., & Dutka, T. W. . (2010). The Importance of Partner Involvement in Determining Career Decision-Making Difficulties. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 9(2), 35–41. Retrieved from