Young emerging adults’ graduateness and career adaptability: Exploring the moderating role of self-esteem

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 26, issue 1, 2016 , pages: 1–10
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2016.1148417
Author(s): Sadika IsmailDepartment of Human Resource Management,, Nadia FerreiraDepartment of Human Resource Management,, Melinde CoetzeeDepartment of Industrial & Organisational Psychology,


This study investigated the moderating role of self-esteem on young emerging adults’ in their school-to-work transition phase of graduateness skills and career adaptability. A non-probability convenience sample (n=332) of undergraduate black (98.5%) and female (62%) young emerging adults (18–29 years) at a Further Education and Training (FET) college in South Africa participated in the study. Participants completed the Culture Free Self-esteem Inventory for Adults (CFSEI 2-AD, Battle, 1992), the Graduateness Skills and Attributes Scale (GSAS, Coetzee, 2010) and the Career Adapt-abilities Scale (CAAS, Savickas & Porfeli, 2012). Hierarchical moderated regression analysis indicated significant interaction effects between self-esteem and overall graduateness, lifelong learning and global/moral citizenship skills and attributes in moderating overall career adaptability. The relationship between the participants’ graduateness skills and attributes (overall graduateness, global/moral citizenship, and lifelong learning) and their career adaptability was significantly stronger when their self-esteem was high than when their self-esteem was low. The finding suggests self-esteem to influence self-perceived graduateness skills and career adaptability in emerging adults.

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