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Distinguishing Beginning Premed Students from their Science Peers: The Salience of Proximal Variables
Journal of Career Assessment
  • Lisa M. Larson, Iowa State University
  • Verena S. Bonitz, Iowa State University
  • James D. Werbel, Iowa State University
  • Tsui-Feng Wu, Iowa State University
  • LeAnn R. Mills, Iowa State University
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The purpose of the study was to better understand how students at the beginning of a premed curriculum are different from their science peers on career-related variables. A total of 165 undergraduates were classified into three groups; these were premed students, students with the intent to pursue a graduate degree, and students with the intent to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Both distal (e.g., prior achievement) and proximal (e.g., mathematics and science self-efficacy and interest) social cognitive constructs were measured. Based on social cognitive career theory (SCCT), the authors predicted that the three groups would not differ on the distal variables. In contrast, the authors expected systematic group differences on the proximal variables. The hypothesis was supported; no significant group differences were found for the distal variables, but the premed group scored significantly higher than the bachelor’s degree group on almost all proximal SCCT variables. Implications for career counseling are discussed.

This is a manuscript of an article from Journal of Career Assessment 20 (2011): 208, doi: 10.1177/1069072711420987. Posted with permission.

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Lisa M. Larson, Verena S. Bonitz, James D. Werbel, Tsui-Feng Wu, et al.. "Distinguishing Beginning Premed Students from their Science Peers: The Salience of Proximal Variables" Journal of Career Assessment Vol. 20 Iss. 2 (2011) p. 208 - 220
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