Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire

Career Decision-Making Difficulties QuestionnaireDealing with career indecision has long been a focus of theory and research, and helping clients to overcome their difficulties in making decisions is among the core roles of career counseling. The Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire (CDDQ) is based on the taxonomy of career decision-making difficulties proposed by Gati, Krausz, and Osipow and was developed to validate the proposed taxonomy and to be a means for locating the focuses of individuals’ career decision-making difficulties, a step that is among the first in providing individuals with the help they need.

The Taxonomy of Career Decision-Making Difficulties

This taxonomy provides a decision-theory-based systematic framework for characterizing an individual’s career decision-making difficulties. It comprises three major categories of difficulties, which are further divided into 10 specific difficulty categories. Lack of Readiness includes three categories that precede the actual engagement in making a specific career decision: lack of motivation to engage in the career decision-making process, general indecisiveness concerning all types of decisions, and dysfunctional beliefs about career decision making. The other two major categories focus on difficulties that may arise during the engagement in the process. Lack of Information includes lack of knowledge about the steps involved in the process of making a career decision, lack of information about the self, lack of information about the various occupations, and lack of information about the ways of obtaining additional information. Inconsistent Information includes three categories of difficulties in using the information: unreliable information, internal conflict within the individual (such as contradictory preferences), and external conflicts, involving disagreements with significant others.

The Revised CDDQ

The revised version of the CDDQ consists of 34 items (with a 9-point response scale), including 2 validity items and 2 to 5 items per scale. The individual’s difficulties are summarized in a 10-scale score profile corresponding to the 10 difficulty categories, each representing the mean of the responses to the items included in it. The empirical structure of the 10 categories was found similar to the theoretical one. The reported test-retest reliabilities range from .67 to .80, the median Cronbach-alpha internal-consistency coefficients of the 10 scale scores range from .68 to .84, and that of the total CDDQ from .87 to .96. After the credibility of the responses to the questionnaire and the differentiation of the 10 scale scores are ascertained, the core of the interpretation involves locating the focuses of the individual’s difficulties on the basis of the relative salience of the scale scores; reservations are added when needed. The CDDQ allows a multidimensional assessment of the individuals’ difficulties. Further information on the CDDQ, including its Internet version with validated interpretation and an abridged professional manual with the studies that tested or used it, can be found at

Research Findings

The construct and concurrent validity of the CDDQ was supported by analyses of both the paper and pencil and the Internet versions of the questionnaire with various cross-cultural samples. Specifically, its pattern of correlations with various other measures, including the Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy Scale, the Career Decision Scale, the Vocational Decision-Style Indicator, and the Career Thoughts Inventory, were as expected. A large difference in the total CDDQ score was found between decided and undecided individuals. Finally, the focuses of clients’ career decision-making difficulties as located by the CDDQ were found compatible with the conclusions of career counselors. The CDDQ was found useful in face-to-face counseling for the initial assessment of individuals’ career decision-making difficulties and as a measure of the effectiveness of individual and group career-counseling interventions.


  1. Amir, T., & Gati, I. (2006). Facets of career decision-making difficulties. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 34(4), 483-503.
  2. Gati, I., Krausz, M., & Osipow, S. H. (1996). A taxonomy of difficulties in career decision making. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 43, 510-526.
  3. Kleiman, T., & Gati, I. (2004). Challenges of Internet-based assessment: Measuring career decision-making difficulties. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 37, 41-55.
  4. Osipow, S. H., & Gati, I. (1998). Construct and concurrent validity of the Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire. Journal of Career Assessment, 6, 345-363.