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Title:Major life goals of college students: An investigation of personality traits, vocational interests, and values
Author(s):Sun, Jo-Tzu
Director of Research:Rounds, James
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rounds, James
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Ryan, Allison M.; Newman, Daniel A.; Einarsdottir, Sif
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Major life goals
vocational interests
structural equation modeling
Abstract:Life goals, values, vocational interests, and personality traits are important factors that influence career and everyday life decision-making. This dissertation presents a framework for how personality traits, interests, and values relate to life goals. There were two studies conducted using structural equation modeling. Study 1 was a cross-sectional study investigating the domain-specific relationship among major life goals, personality traits, interests, and values. The results showed that personality traits are the most fundamental disposition and can predict vocational interests, values, and then goals. Moreover, in certain domains, interests serve as a mediator between personality traits and life goals; values serve as a mediator between personality traits and goals, and between interests and goals. Study 2 is a longitudinal study examining how relationships among major life goals, interests, and personality traits may change over time. The results indicated that personality, interests, and major life goals are stable across time. Both personality and interests are enduring psychological dispositions that can predict future major life goals. The models also show that some variables are more capable of explaining and predicting major life goals when other variables were controlled. Combining these two studies, this dissertation contributes to the deeper understanding of how important psychological dispositions influence individuals’ goal settings during emerging adulthood. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies together provide a broader picture of the trajectory of these dispositions’ development.
Issue Date:2011-05-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Jo-Tzu Sun
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-25
Date Deposited:2011-05

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