Birth cohort change in the vocational interests of female and male college students

Shawn T. Bubany, Jo-Ida C Hansen

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37 Scopus citations


The purpose of this research was to investigate the extent to which vocational interests have changed across birth cohorts of college students to better understand how socio-cultural factors may have an impact on career development. Using meta-analytic data collection methods, dissertations and journal articles presenting interests scores representing Holland's RIASEC typology from the Strong Interest Inventory and Strong Campbell interest inventory were gathered. With samples spanning a time period from 1976 to 2004, relations between cohort year and interests were examined with weighted regressions. A salient aspect of our results was an increase in the Enterprising interests of females and decrease in the Realistic and Investigative interests of males. This finding, along with a reduction in differences between female and male Investigative, Enterprising, and Conventional interests from earlier to more recent cohorts parallels movement of American culture toward egalitarian views of gender and provides evidence for the effect of sociocultural factors on interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Birth cohort design
  • Cross-temporal meta-analysis
  • Gender differences
  • Individual differences development
  • Social role theory
  • Vocational interests


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