Title page for ETD etd-10022007-140532

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Coetzee, Melinda
Email melinda.coetzee@gmail.com
URN etd-10022007-140532
Document Title Investigating the impact of “the gap year” on career decision-making
Degree MEd (Educational Psychology)
Department Educational Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Dr S Bester Committee Chair
  • career indecision
  • post-modern career counselling
  • constructivism
  • career development
  • career maturity
  • gap year
  • life-skills
  • career decision-making
  • career counselling
Date 2006-08-01
Availability unrestricted
In this study the experiences of young people who engage in a gap year were explored. The focus of the study was on how the gap year influenced career decision-making. A case study design was used to gather information about the experiences of three young people who engaged in various types of gap years.

Data was collected by means of semi-structured interviews, life-lines and collages created by the participants. They were also consulted throughout the research process and participated in the data analysis. Content analysis was applied to the gathered data, and various themes and sub-themes were identified. These were confirmed by the participants before the completion of the study.

This study found that the value of the gap year may be in the personal growth that it facilitates, the time it allows people to take before finalising their decisions, and its impact on career maturity. The findings indicate that the gap year may help people to resolve their career indecision by providing opportunities to experience the world and gain self-knowledge, thereby becoming more career mature. This in turn leads to the ability to make a career decision.

© 2006, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Coetzee, M 2006, Investigating the impact of “the gap year” on career decision-making, MEd dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10022007-140532/ >


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