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Title:Time will tell: a longitudinal examination of interest congruence with educational and work environments
Author(s):Hanna, Lexi
Director of Research:Rounds, James
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rounds, James
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Newman, Daniel; Briley, Daniel; Einarsdottir, Sif; Nye, Christopher
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):person-environment fit, vocational interests
Abstract:Theories of person-environment (P-E) fit describe the interaction between persons and environments as a dynamic process that changes over time. In particular, theories refer to an adjustment process by which the degree of P-E fit should improve over time due to adaptations of a person’s attributes to fit their environment, changes in the environment itself, or both. Despite the changing dynamics of fit forming the central aspect of several theoretical perspectives, these ideas have largely gone untested. The present dissertation is an empirical examination of changes in fit over time between individuals and career-related environments during a critical period of transition from education into the workforce. This longitudinal study is a within-person test of changes in interest congruence in two Icelandic samples that allowed for an examination of whether or not fit improves over time and the drivers of fit change. Several methods were used to capture interest congruence over time: growth models of profile correlations between person and environment interests, longitudinal latent congruence models based on a structural equation modeling framework, person and environment latent difference scores, and piecewise growth models to examine interest development before and after environmental changes. Each of these methods used a slightly different lens to understand how interest congruence changes over time with respect to educational and work domains. Across these methods, three sets of results were typically found: (1) interest congruence improved over time in both types of environments, (2) participants’ interests sometimes changed in response to their environment, and (3) educational and work changes often followed from changes in participants’ interests. Implications of these findings for theoretical development and practice are discussed.
Issue Date:2020-05-05
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Alexis Hanna
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-27
Date Deposited:2020-05

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