Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education

Major Professor

Melinda M. Gibbons

Committee Members

Joel F. Diambra, Gary J. Skolits, Erin E. Hardin


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between adolescent-parent congruence on the SCCT variables of college-going self-efficacy beliefs, college outcome expectations, and college decision-making in rural Appalachian youth. The study addressed three main research questions: What are the typical levels of adolescent-parent congruence, college-going self-efficacy, and college outcome expectations of rural Appalachian youth? How are college-going decisions impacted by the level of adolescent-parent congruence, college-going self-efficacy beliefs, and college outcome expectations of rural Appalachian youth? and How do rural Appalachian high school students say that adolescent-parent congruence impacts their college decisions? Participants in the study were high school seniors enrolled in five rural Appalachian high schools within a single Southeastern state. Data was collected through online surveys. Participants were asked to complete three scales: the Adolescent-Parent Career Congruence Scale-Revised (Sawitri et al., 2012), College Outcome Expectation Scale (Flores et al., 2008), and the College-Going Self-Efficacy Scale (Gibbons & Borders, 2010). Participants were also asked to answer two open response questions and complete a brief demographic scale. Findings indicated that rural Appalachian youth have a moderate amount of congruence with their parents regarding postsecondary plans, moderately high levels of college-going self-efficacy, and high levels of college outcomes expectations. High positive correlations were found between each of these three variables. In addition, multiple variables were found to predict students’ adolescent-parent congruence including college-going self-efficacy, college outcome expectations, mother’s educational level, and gender. Finally, while students reported moderate levels of adolescent-parent congruence on the quantitative measure, they demonstrated increased incongruence when asked about incongruence in an open-ended format. Based on these findings, implications for future research, counselors, and counselor educators were provided.

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