Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations


The Effects of Calling and Vocational Presence and Search on Psychological Well-Being

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Rachel Vannatta Reinhart (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Margaret Brooks (Other)

Third Advisor

Dale Dwyer (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Judith Jackson May (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Patrick Pauken (Committee Member)


This study was a quantitative exploration of 13 calling and vocational constructs related to calling presence, search and actualization to determine which best predicted psychological well-being. For this study, calling was defined using the definition established by Dik and Duffy (2009) and its three component parts: (1) an external summons, (2) viewing one’s work as a source of purpose or meaning, and (3) having a prosocial orientation or using one’s work to help others. Forward multiple regression analyses revealed that Search for Calling and Presence of Prosocial Orientation were the best predictors of well-being. Further, group differences were explored using the calling categories: calling diffusion, calling foreclosure, calling moratorium, and calling achievement (see Table 1). Results revealed that individuals who were high in searching for a calling had significantly lower levels of psychological well-being if they also had low levels of calling presence (Calling Moratorium Category). The hope of the researcher is that these as well as previous research findings lead to the future study of additional aspects of calling and psychological well-being.