Newsome, Ph.D., NCC, NCLSC
Wake Forest University
I. General Information
A. Title: Skills
Confidence Inventory (SCI).
B. Authors: Nancy
E. Betz, Fred H. Borgen, and Lenore W. Harmon.
C. Publisher: Consulting
Psychologists Press, 3803 E. Bayshore Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303. Phone:
D. Forms; groups
to which applicable: The Skills Confidence Inventory (Betz, Borgen,
& Harmon, 1996) is designed to be administered in conjunction with
the Strong Interest Inventory (Harmon, Hansen, Borgen, & Hammer,
1994). The instrument is written at the 8th grade reading level. Although
it can be administered to older adolescents (15 years of age and older),
recommended use of the SCI is with college students and adults who have
some amount of work experience.
E. General type:
The SCI measures clients self-efficacy expectations with regard
to activities and tasks associated with Holland's six General Occupational
Themes. The instrument, which was developed as a supplement to the Strong
Interest Inventory, typically is used in career counseling, and provides
a measure of self-efficacy in vocational domains.
F. Date of publication:
The SCI was published in 1996.
G. Practical features:
A paper-and-pencil form of the SC] can be purchased in combination with
the Strong Interest Inventory (SIl). Item booklets and answer sheets
are provided for mail-in scoring. Another option available to test takers
is the Entrepreneur Report, which includes the SII, SCI, and MBTI. A
third option is to complete the assessment using the computer. The computer-based
version of the SCI runs on Microsoft Windows and can be obtained through
Consulting Psychologists Press (http://www.cpp-db.com).
H. Cost: Prepaid
SII and SCI combined item booklets and answer sheets, designed for mail-in
scoring, cost $90.00 for a package of 10. The Skills Confidence Inventory
Applications and Technical Guide is available for $36.00. Computerized
administrations of the combined SII and SCI cost $9.20 each for orders
of less than 100, with the price decreasing for orders of 100 or more
administrations. The computerized administrations must be run on the
CPP Computer Software System, which has an initial cost of $295.00 and
an annual license renewal fee of $110.00.
I. 1. Time required
to administer: The combined form of the Sll and SCI takes 40 to 50 minutes
and Nature of the Instrument
A. Stated purpose:
The 60-item SCI measures a respondent's self-perceived ability to successfully
complete a variety of tasks, activities, and coursework (Betz et al.,
1996). The instrument provides career professionals with a tool for
measuring clients' self-efficacy expectations in a manner that parallels
the way interest information is organized on the SII (Subich, 1998).
of test, items, and scores: The SCI is comprised of six 10-item General
Confidence Theme scales that correspond with the Strong Interest Inventory's
General Occupational Themes. Scores are not standardized; instead, they
represent the mean response for the 10 items on a particular scale.
Scores on each scale range from 1 to 5, with scores of 3.5 or higher
representing areas of high skill confidence. Results are reported on
a single-page profile that compares the respondent's perceived capabilities
with expressed interests in each of the six General Occupational Themes.
C. Use in counseling:
Counselors using the SCI can help clients examine their interests and
perceived abilities simultaneously to enhance educational and career
exploration. The combined use of the Sit and SCI provides information
that neither inventory provides alone. The integrated profile categorizes
each theme area by priority for exploration. High confidence and interest
in a theme signal a need for further exploration. When confidence is
higher than interest or vice-versa, the counselor can help the client
explore reasons for the discrepancy. It is important to recognize that
confidence in a particular area does not reflect actual ability or the
potential to develop ability (Betz et al., 1996).
A. Usefulness of
manual: The 64-page SCI Applications and Technical Guide includes an
explanation of the inventory's theoretical basis, psychometric properties
of the instrument, directions for administration and use, and instructions
for interpreting test results. To facilitate test interpretation, case
studies and reproducible masters with practical suggestions based on
clients' profiles are provided.
B. Adequacy of
directions for administering the instrument: A suggested approach for
administering the Sit and SCI is provided in the manual. The instructions,
which are clearly written and easy to follow, include sample scripts
that can be adapted for individual or group administration. Betz et
al. (1996) suggested that users be familiar with the procedures for
administering the SII that are discussed in the Strong Interest Inventory
Applications and Technical Guide (14armon et al., 1994).
of examiners: Counselors who administer the SCI need to be qualified
at the B level, which means that the administrator has earned an advanced
degree from an accredited college or university and has satisfactorily
completed a course in psychological testing and measurement at an accredited
D. Scoring provisions:
Options for scoring include mailing prepaid SII/SCI forms to Consulting
Psychologists Press scoring nonprepaid forms on-site with the CPP Software
System; and administering, scoring, and printing a combined profile
of both inventories on-site using the CPP Software System.
A. Normative sample:
The normative sample for the SCI was comprised of 1147 adults who participated
in data collection for the 1994 edition of the Strong and 706 college
students enrolled during the fall term of 1993 at Ohio State University
and Iowa State University (Betz et al., 1996). Of the 1853 individuals
sampled, 1007 were women and 846 were men. A breakdown of participants
by race is not provided in the manual; however, of the individuals who
participated in the renorming of the SII (from which the SCI sample
was drawn), 5.5% identified themselves as members of a racial minority
group (Betz et al., 1998). Thus, the SCI sample was composed primarily
Internal consistency of the 10-item scales was reported to range from
.84 for the enterprising scale to .88 for the realistic scale. Three
week test-retest reliability coefficients for college students ranged
from .83 for the realistic scale to .87 for the social scale (Betz et
C. Validity: Evidence
of the concurrent validity of the General Confidence Themes was based
on findings that employed adults reported significantly higher confidence
levels than did college students (Betz et al., 1996). Also, scores on
the GCT scales were shown to distinguish members of each GCT occupational
group from members of other occupations and from the general population.
Donnay and Borgen (1999) provided evidence that the SCI accurately classified
tenured and satisfied workers according to occupational group membership,
suggesting, that the instrument can be used to help predict occupational
Betz et al. (1996) provided evidence of construct validity by reporting
statistically significant correlations between interest and skills confidence
levels within the same GOTs and low correlations between interests and
perceived abilities within different GOTS. Significant confidence-interest
correlations were noted within all theme areas, ranging from .44 (enterprising)
to .63 (artistic). Additional evidence of construct validity was provided
by Betz et al. (1998), who found that skills confidence scores differentiated
occupational groups in ways consistent with predictions.
A. Comments of
reviewers: Due to the SCI's relatively recent publication, few reviews
have been published to date. Subich (1998) indicated that unique information
is provided to the client and career counselor when levels of self-efficacy
as measured by the SCI are considered along with vocational interests.
Donnay and Borgen (1999) suggested that the SCI, as a measure of vocational
self-efficacy, is a distinct measure from traditional vocational interest
inventories and is a potentially useful construct for career assessment.
B. General Evaluation:
The Strong Interest Inventory has been described as a model for other
interest inventories based on its psychometric properties (Whiston,
2000). The optional addition of the Skills Confidence Inventory provides
a useful measure of perceived ability that supplements the career professional's
efforts to assist clients in making decisions about academic majors,
occupations, and changes in career direction. Concerns about the combined
instrument (SII and SCI) relate to the samples selected for norming
purposes. For the most part, individuals in the samples were Caucasian
volunteers with high levels of education. Consequently, the norming
group may not adequately represent the broad spectrum of individuals
in a given occupation. However, scores for each scale of the SCI are
not standardized and should be interpreted in an ipsative, rather than
normative, manner. Consequently, the makeup of the normative group does
not affect score interpretation in the same manner in which it affects
interpretation of norm-referenced scores. Research on career self-efficacy
has supported its role as an important predictor of academic performance
and career decision-making intentions (Betz et al., 1998). The SCI provides
a way to coordinate a measure of career self-efficacy with measures
of vocational interest. The combined SII/SCI is a robust career-assessment
instrument that provides a valuable way to assess interests and confidence
simultaneously, thus paving the way for further exploration of career
Betz, N. E., Borgen,
F. H., & Hannon, L. W. (1996). Skills Confidence Inventory Applications
and Technical Guide. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Betz, N. E., Borgen,
F. H., Kaplan, A., & Harmon, L. W. (I 998). Gender and Holland types
as moderators of the validity and interpretive utility of the Skills
Confidence Inventory. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 53, 281-299.
Donnay, D. A. C.,
& Borgen, F. H. (1999). The incremental validity of vocational self-efficacy:
An examination of interest, self-efficacy, and occupation. Journal of
Counseling, Psychology, 49(4), 432-447.
Harmon, L. W.,
Hansen, J. C., Borgen, F. H., & Hammer, A. L. (1994). Strong Interest
lnventory application and technical Guide. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting
Subich, L. M. (1998).
Ellenore Flood's Skills Confidence Inventory. The Career Development
Quarterly, 46(4), 347-351. Whiston, S. C. (2000). Principles and applications
of counseling Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.