Date of Award

Summer 6-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

Michael Kosloski

Committee Member

Petros Katsioloudis

Committee Member

Cherng-Jyh Yen


The purpose of this study was to develop a valid, reliable measure of career literacy skills called the Career Literacy Continuum Scale (CLCS). Career literacy is a person’s ability to read, understand, evaluate, and make decisions based on career-related information. The study participants were adolescents in grades 6 - 12 who attended public school in the southeastern United States. This study used an instrumentation research design and was conducted in two phases, item generation followed by test analysis and optimization.

Validity was established throughout the process by using content experts and establishing the item and scale validity indices. Item response theory is used in this study to determine item and test statistics and characteristics. The model fit was determined after confirming unidimensionality by estimating the one-, two-, and three-parameter models for comparison using the AIC, BIC, and the likelihood ratio X2 . The two-parameter model provided the best model fit. Using the two-parameter estimation results, the item- and test-characteristic curves, in addition to difficulty and discrimination data, were evaluated resulting in the removal of four items.

The reliability of the CLCS was established using estimations from the final version of the instrument. The KR 20 coefficient alpha, differential item functioning, and item- and test information functions were analyzed. The CLCS is reliable with an internal consistency of α = 0.91 and scale validity index of 0.93. Differential item function results provided additional validity because there were very few items that functioned differently among groups.

Based on the analysis of validity and reliability data, the Career Literacy Continuum Scale can be considered both reliable and valid. According to the test information function data, the CLCS provides the most information for adolescents at Q= -1.25. Additional items could be field-tested to provide more testing options, specifically including more difficult items or creating a battery of tests based on specific skills. Implications for career development, legislation, and curriculum are discussed along with recommendations for future research.


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