The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that adolescents who explore a variety of career alternatives will make career choices that are more congruent with their personality styles than will adolescents who explore less broadly. The sample of 57 female and 45 male high school seniors (mean age = 17.6 years) completed an ego identity interview, from which each occupation they reported considering was coded for four dimensions: occupational prestige, substantive complexity, interest environment, and gender dominance. Participants also completed the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory and a verbal ability measure. Two indices were constructed to assess the degree of congruence between the adolescent's primary career choice and personality style. Regression analyses indicated that breadth of exploration in the four career dimensions, particularly in gender dominance exploration, was predictive of congruence for males and females.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants to the two senior authors from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD92819 and HD17983) and the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and by funds from the University Research Institute and the Institute of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. We express our appreciation to the families who generously shared their time by participating in the Family Process Project. We especially acknowledge the contributions of Gail Werrbach and Patricia Griffin Heilbrun in coding the occupational data and in discussions of this work. A report of this work was presented at the meeting of the Southwestern Society for Research in Human Development, San Antonio, March 1986. Reprint requests may be sent to either senior author at Department of Home Economics, Division of Child Development and Family Relationships, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712.