A Comparison of Strengths and Interests Protocols in Career Assessment and Counseling

Rhea L. Owens, Thomas C. Motl, Thomas S. Krieshok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This study examined the relative performance of three career counseling protocols: a strengths-based protocol, an interest-based protocol, and a protocol that combined strengths and interests. Outcome measures included career exploration, occupational engagement, career decision self-efficacy, hope, positive and negative affect, and life satisfaction pre- and post-intervention. The participants consisted of 82 undergraduate students enrolled in a career and life-planning course. Each participant received a career counseling intervention and a Strong Interest Inventory (SII), StrengthsFinder, or both the SII and StrengthsFinder interpretation. While all three groups showed significant gains from pretest to posttest on most outcomes, results suggest the interests protocol (IP) was the most effective approach when considering the conservation of resources. However, results also merit further exploration of the combined protocol (CP; strengths plus interests) given the greatest gains were achieved by this approach on all but one construct, though not significantly different from the IP. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-622
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Career Assessment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.


  • career assessment
  • career course
  • career exploration
  • career intervention
  • positive psychology
  • strengths


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