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career choice identity personality traits special education teachers

Factors Influencing Special Education Career Choices: Interplay of Personality Traits and Identity Statuses

Athena Daniilidou , Marianna Kyriakidou-Rasidaki , Katerina Nerantzaki

Recent research has identified factors influencing the choice of a special education career; however, it has not thoroughly examined their connection .


  • Pub. date: October 15, 2024
  • Online Pub. date: May 26, 2024
  • Pages: 1587-1605
  • 80 Downloads
  • 900 Views
  • 0 Citations
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Recent research has identified factors influencing the choice of a special education career; however, it has not thoroughly examined their connection with personality traits and identity status. Thus, the present study was designed to explore how different personality traits and identity statuses correlate with the motives and perceptions associated with the choice to teach in special education. The study involved 209 pre-service special education teachers. The NEO-Five Factor Inventory was used to measure the Big 5 personality traits. The Ego Identity Process Questionnaire assessed identity commitment and exploration. The Factors Influencing Teaching Choice Scale was used to evaluate motivations and perceptions about teaching. Regarding the factors that influenced the decision to pursue a career in special education, intrinsic value, shaping children’s future, social equity, making social contributions, working with children, task demands, and job satisfaction were highly rated. Additionally, extraversion, openness to experience, conscientiousness, and identity statuses were identified as positive predictors for certain factors influencing the choice of a teaching career in special education. Finally, the study identified two distinct groups of students: "Identity Achievers" characterized by high positive personality traits, and identity commitment, and "Identity Explorers" characterized by lower positive personality traits and higher identity exploration. Differences were observed between the groups in their motives and perceptions concerning teaching in special education. In conclusion, this study highlights the relationships between personality, identity status, and career decision factors, offering insights into the factors that influence this critical career decision among future special educators. Directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords: Career choice, identity, personality traits, special education teachers.

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