The impact of an intervention on the psychological capital levels of career college learners---A quasi-experimental study

by Babinchak, John A., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2012, 165 pages; 3505705


The component factors of psychological capital (PsyCap)—hope, self-efficacy, optimism, and resilience—have been demonstrated, individually and as a higher-order construct, to have a relationship with improved performance metrics in both business and academic environments. Based on a non-equivalent control group (NECG), pretest/posttest design, this quasi-experimental study examined the malleability of these capabilities through the administration of a specially designed career development intervention delivered to first-term, career college learners. Treatment participants (n = 174) were randomly selected from intact classrooms at private, career colleges. Control group subjects (n = 79) were randomly selected from similar schools. Both treatment and control groups were administered a slightly modified version of the psychological capital questionnaire during their first and last weeks of the term to track changes in PsyCap levels. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed to test the reliability of the survey instrument, while t tests and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) statistical tests were utilized to compare the between and within group means of both groups to test for significant differences prior to and following a 12-week intervention.

Results of ANCOVA analysis (utilizing pretest scores as the concomitant variable) support the significant development of pre- to posttest measures of hope, optimism, resilience, and overall psychological capital for the experimental group compared to the control group; however, results of the self-efficacy analysis were non-significant. The findings of this study lend support for real-world strategies and techniques that can be utilized for the development of hope, optimism, resilience, and overall PsyCap. Further discussion and limitations of these results are discussed and conclude with practical implications for career college administrators and human resource professionals.

AdviserRichard Flor
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Educational psychology; Developmental psychology
Publication Number3505705

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