Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Fred L. Adair


The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible correlation between codependency and career choice. A review of the literature seems to indicate that the helping professions attract people who are "prone" to codependency. For this reason, this study focused on four groups of undergraduate students: nursing students, psychology students, and social work majors, as the "helping profession" students, and students majoring in business-related fields. The study was also designed to provide empirical evidence to conplement the descriptive studies which have been the main source of information available up to the present time.;Subjects were drawn from students attending Christopher Newport College and Riverside Regional Medical Center's School of Professional Nursing. Each group consisted of 40 students.;Subjects were asked to complete three self-report inventories: The Moos Family Environment Scale (FES), The Adjective Check List (ACL), (Real and Ideal), and The Behavioral Assessment Inventory, which was actually the Friel Codependency Assessment Inventory (FCDI) combined with the L and K scales of the MMPI.;It was hypothesized that: Students in helping professions will score higher on the Behavioral Assessment Inventory than business students; Students in helping professions will show a larger discrepancy between Real and Ideal Self on the ACL and will also score higher on the Nurturance and Abasement scales of the ACL than business students; and students in the helping professions will score higher on the Conflict and Control scales of the FES than business students.;None of the results were significant at the 0.05 level. However, an artifact of the research indicates there is a significant difference on the K scale (incorporated in the FCDI) (t = 2.79, p {dollar}<{dollar}.05) between helping profession and business students.



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