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Title:Vocational interest development from adolescence to adulthood: a meta-analysis on mean-level change
Author(s):Hoff, Kevin A.
Advisor(s):Rounds, James B.
Contributor(s):Newman, Daniel A.; Briley, Daniel A.
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):vocational interests
Abstract:Interests are among the most widely applied individual difference constructs in education and psychology. Despite their widespread usage, it is not known whether vocational interests undergo mean-level changes with age. If interests do change, in what direction? And do changes vary across age, kinds of interests, and gender? In the current meta-analysis, we aggregate effect sizes from 53 longitudinal studies on mean-level change in vocational interests, containing 98 total samples and 20,927 participants. Meta-analytic regression models were used to assess patterns of change during different age periods spanning early adolescence to middle adulthood. Results showed that mean-level interest scores increase slightly with age (d = .04). This age effect primarily involved interest in People orientation (d = .09) rather than Things orientation (d = .00). Patterns of change also varied across age categories. Mean-level interest scores decreased during early adolescence (d = -.10) before increasing throughout late adolescence (d = .09). During young adulthood, mean-level interest scores continued to change, but the direction of change varied across kinds of interests. Gender differences associated with occupational stereotypes showed distinct patterns of change across age categories. Gender gaps in Realistic and Social interests widened during early adolescence, but tended to decrease throughout the remainder of adolescence and young adulthood. Overall, findings suggest that vocational interest intensity undergoes meaningful changes from adolescence to adulthood, with theoretical and practical implications concerning the development of vocational interests.
Issue Date:2016-07-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Kevin Hoff
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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