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Title:The power of vocational interests and interest congruence in predicting career success
Author(s):Su, Rong
Director of Research:Rounds, James
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rounds, James
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Drasgow, Fritz; Hubert, Lawrence J.; Newman, Daniel A.; Roberts, Brent W.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Vocational Interests
Person-Environmental Fit
Incremental Validity
Career Success
Gender Difference
Abstract:The present dissertation examined the incremental validity of vocational interests beyond cognitive ability and personality for predicting academic achievement and career success. Analysis of a national longitudinal survey, Project TALENT (Wise, McLaughlin, & Steel, 1979), showed that interests were the most influential contributor to income, even within occupational groups and after controlling for occupational prestige. Interests were also found to be powerful predictors of college grades, college persistence, degree attainment, and occupational prestige. The effects of interest congruence were examined using polynomial regression and response surface methodology (Edwards, 2002). In most cases, interest congruence was positively associated with academic achievement and career success. Interest congruence in Science was particularly important for better college grades, great likelihood of persistence, and a higher income. Lastly, a moderated mediation model for career success was developed and tested. Number of children had negative effects on income and occupational prestige, for women in particular. Interests mediated the effect of gender on career success and were found to be fundamental channels through which gender operates and influences career outcomes. Degree attainment mediated the effects of interests, ability, and personality on career success and was an essential pathway for individuals to attain prestigious occupations. Results from the present dissertation have implications for the research on person-environment fit, measurement of individual differences, personnel selection, and provide insight for the debate on the causes of differential career attainment for men and women.
Issue Date:2012-09-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Rong Su
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-09-18
Date Deposited:2012-08

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