Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



The collective group of resources that are accessible to an individual because of people within his/her social network is known as social capital. Social capital becomes more valuable when an individual sees that it can help with goal achievement. This is especially true with college-aged students who are deciding on academic major, career path and if should persist or dropout. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of social network characteristics on the perceived social capital value (SCV) and career decision-making self-efficacy (CDMSE) among freshman college students enrolled at a research university. This present study examined how a student’s social network characteristics are related to their perceived SCV and CDMSE. The researcher measured bonding network size, bridging network size, overall network size, multiplex network size, network density and network homophily as the social network characteristics of interest. The Name Generator and the short-form of the Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy scale (CDMSE-SF) were administered to 122 freshman students who resided in three different on-campus living communities (traditional, career exploration residential college and agriculture residential college) to measure their perceived social network characteristics, perceived SCV and CDMSE. ANOVA tests were performed to compare the three on-campus communities’ student’s perceived social network characteristics, SCV and CDMSE. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine if SCV mediates perceived social network characteristics prediction of CDMSE. Results indicated that there are no differences in on-campus communities’ student’s perception of social network characteristics, SCV and CDMSE. Also, results show that there is little to no relationship between SCV or social network characteristics and CDMSE. However, the researcher did find that freshman college students derive their perceptions of their social capital value from networks that are more hemophilic (r = 0. 186, p < 0.05) and smaller, more emotionally supportive social bonding networks (r = 0.216, p < 0.05). The researcher concludes that social network training and coaching should be delivered to freshman college students from their first semester through their graduation to properly develop a well-rounded social network that can provide emotional/social support as well as having access to new information to provide career advantage.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Burnett, Michael