The Identification and Validation of Five Types of Career Indecision: A Latent Profile Analysis of Career Decision-Making Difficulties

Nimrod Levin, Yuliya Lipshits-Braziler, Itamar Gati*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Diagnosing the causes of clients' career indecision is among the first steps in career counseling. The present study applied latent profile analysis to identify career indecision types using the 10 difficulty scale scores of the Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire (Gati et al., 1996). In two random U.S. samples ( N total = 8,918; age range = 14-50), five profiles of career indecision were identified and replicated: (1) unmotivated (6%), (2) generally indecisive (31%), (3) unrealistic (12%), (4) uninformed (39%), and (5) conflicted (12%). Age and gender negligibly predicted career indecision type, thereby supporting the stability of the five-profile typology. Nonetheless, the female gender was associated with a greater likelihood of being classified as indecisive as opposed to unmotivated (OR = 2.13). Furthermore, the five types differed in career decision status (η² = .28) and perceived career decisional distress (η² = .29). Uninformed and conflicted individuals reported multiple career decision-making difficulties and were still considering many career alternatives, whereas the three remaining types had one salient difficulty and had already identified a few (or even one) preferred alternative(s). Typological classification of individuals based on their salient causes of career indecision facilitates intervention planning as well as prescreening clients for individual counseling or group interventions. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)452-462
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number4
Early online date13 Jan 2022
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Ella Anghel, Benny A. Benjamin, Tony Gutentag, Viktória Kulcsár, Shékina Rochat, and Tirza Willner for their comments on earlier versions of this article. This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant 636/16) and the Samuel and Esther Melton Chair of the third author and was not preregistered. Data is available at We have no known conflict of interest to disclose.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. American Psychological Association


  • Career decision status
  • Career decision-making difficulties
  • Career indecision
  • Latent profile analysis
  • Person-centered research


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