Journal citations reflect Hackett’s lasting impression

<p>Gail Hackett recently learned that several of her articles published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Counseling Psychology are among the journal’s most cited works.</p><separator></separator><p>Two of her articles were in the top 25 articles cited since the journal’s inception in the 1950s, while another two were top citations during the past 10 years. The publication is the leading research journal in the field of counseling psychology.</p><separator></separator><p>“The Journal of Counseling Psychology has published more than 4,200 articles since its first issue in 1954,” says Brent Mallinckrodt, the editor of the Journal of Counseling Psychology. “From this huge body of work, Dr. Hackett has published the sixth- and the 22nd-most-cited articles. Together, these two articles have been cited in nearly 450 other published articles.”</p><separator></separator><p>The citations reflect Hackett’s influential research in the field.</p><separator></separator><p>“This is evidence of her tremendous influence, not only on the field of counseling psychology but on psychology more generally,” Mallinckrodt says. “To be cited this often, an article must capture the interest of scholars outside a professor’s narrow field of expertise.”<br />Hackett’s works expand on Albert Bandura’s self-efficacy theory, which says that cognitive judgments of one’s capabilities are more predictive of behavior than any other factor, including past behavior. Bandura is renowned in the psychology field and has been described as America’s top psychologist.</p><separator></separator><p>“It was a simple concept, but it was embedded in a complex theory,” Hackett says.</p><separator></separator><p>Hackett and Nancy E. Betz first detailed the potential applications of Bandura’s theory to understanding women’s career choices in a 1981 article in the Journal of Vocational Behavior, another top research journal, then tested their theoretical propositions in articles such as “The Relationship of Career-Related Self-Efficacy Expectations to Perceived Career Options in College Women and Men,” published in 1981 in the Journal of Counseling Psychology.</p><separator></separator><p>“It was Dr. Hackett and Betz’ brilliant insight to apply an established theory from one field of (social) psychology in a new way to a very different area (counseling psychology). We often see that such innovations have a tremendous capacity to move the second field forward, and that has been the case with Dr. Hackett’s work,” Mallinckrodt says.</p><separator></separator><p>The work is ranked sixth among the top 25 cited in the journal’s history.</p><separator></separator><p>“Nancy Betz and I were both interested in women’s career development because, at the time (the late 1970s and early 1980s), there wasn’t a lot of attention being paid to how women made vocational choices,” Hackett says.</p><separator></separator><p>They felt that Bandura’s theory was particularly useful in explaining some of the anomalies that they saw in women’s career development, such as women’s career achievements being so far below their academic achievements and women’s under-representation in some career fields.</p><separator></separator><p>Through their groundbreaking research, Hackett and Betz found that females reported higher levels of self-efficacy (confidence and ability to succeed at something) in traditional occupations, and significantly lower levels of self-efficacy in nontraditional occupations. They discovered that self-efficacy expectations were produced by differences in socialization. This research was the first of its kind to be published that showed explicitly how socialization operates to undermine women’s confidence in the work world.</p><separator></separator><p>“This is why this article is so pivotal,” Hackett says.</p><separator></separator><p>Another article that is ranked 22nd in the journal’s history is the “Role of Mathematics Self-Efficacy in the Choice of Math-Related Majors of College Women and Men: A Path Analysis.” This 1985 study by Hackett used statistical causal modeling analyses to test hypotheses from self-efficacy theory demonstrating how socialization and educational experiences related to math and science affects self-efficacy, which then directly affects the choice of math-related college majors.</p><separator></separator><p>“This was one of the first examinations of mathematics self-efficacy and how crucial it is in predicting women’s math and science-related career choices,” Hackett says.</p><separator></separator><p>Another article – “Contextual Supports and Barriers to Career Choice: A Social Cognitive Analysis” by Robert W. Lent, Steven D. Brown and Hackett – applied an expanded version of Bandura’s theory (now called social cognitive theory) to career decision-making, career behavior and academic achievement. The article, which is among the top 25 cited within the last 10 years, attracted peer attention through its focus on environmental effects, barriers and supports on career decision-making when it was published in 2000.</p><separator></separator><p>“A Causal Model of the Educational Plans and Career Expectations of Mexican American High School Girls” (1998) that is cited in the top 25 of the journal’s articles in the past 10 years by Ellen Hawley McWhirter, Deborah L. Bandalos and Hackett focuses on educational and career expectations of Mexican-American high school girls.</p><separator></separator><p>Researchers have focused on these works because the articles are part of a part of a research program of related studies testing a robust theoretical model.</p><separator></separator><p>“Our social cognitive career theory, rooted in self-efficacy theory, is now considered one of the four or five major career theories in the field,” Hackett says.</p><separator></separator><p>The findings from these studies can also be used by educators and counselors working with young women and men.</p><separator></separator><p>“Most of the work we do is directly applicable,” Hackett says. “Our findings alert career counselors and other educators who are helping youth, adolescents or even adults that they need to pay close attention to people’s beliefs about their abilities when predicting future performance and choices. Many students underestimate their actual capabilities, and thereby cut themselves off from viable educational and career options.”</p><separator></separator><p>Since the research was conducted, more women are entering nontraditional fields.</p><separator></separator><p>“There’s been a lot of progress,” Hackett says.</p><separator></separator><p>But there still are disproportionately fewer women entering fields such as engineering, and females still are under-represented at the top of the career ladder, she says.</p><separator></separator><p>Hackett, who most recently was dean of University College, is leaving ASU to become provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.</p>