Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Lynette Bikos

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Thane Erickson

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Jacqui Smith-Bates


The notion of calling toward career or life roles is salient for many, and as research on calling progresses, cohesive theories are solidifying. However, measurement challenges from lack of consensus on calling definition, and specifically perceived source of calling, pose a barrier. One of the most common definitions defines calling as being prosocial in nature, involving purposeful work, and arising from an external, transcendent summons. However, research suggests this definition may not adequately capture the experience of calling for people who instead or additionally perceive their calling as arising from an internal source. Consequently, I revised one of the most commonly used measures of calling, the Calling and Vocation Questionnaire (CVQ) to serve two purposes: (a) to add an internal summons dimension to the overall scale and (b) to create a short-version of the scale that would be suitable for research. My revisions included the creation of eight items assessing internal summons for the original CVQ and 10 items for a short form (CVQ-10). Items were administered to undergraduate students (N = 496) over age 18. Confirmatory factor analyses were used to evaluate a series of hypothesized models. Fit for the revised CVQ (including internal summons items) was inadequate (χ2 [429, N = 252] = 1026.058, p < .001, CFI = .810, RMSEA = .074). This was likely due in part to poorer baseline model fit for the original CVQ (with no additional items) within this sample compared to the CVQ’s validation study. Inadequate model fit was also observed across subsequent models. Additionally, inadequate fit was observed for the CVQ-10 (χ2 [34, N = 252) = 498.560, p < .001, CFI = .642, RMSEA = .209). Results suggest that further investigation is warranted regarding a potential internal summons dimension of calling. The unique context (e.g., Christian, liberal arts) of this research setting revealed curious and complex relations between the internal and transcendent sources of calling (i.e., negative regression weights and lower item-total correlations for transcendent summons items when internal summons items were added to the model), suggesting that items assessing calling source may not cleanly capture source across different populations.

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