Vocational Interests and Career Goals: Development and Relations to Personality in Middle Adolescence

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Cross-sectional research implies a close relation of vocation interests, goals, and traits, yet little is known about their reciprocal development over time. This longitudinal study examined development of Things/People (T/P) and Data/Ideas (D/I) vocational interests and career goals in relation to Big Five personality traits among 292 Swiss adolescents with a cross-lagged panel design with two measurement points over 1 year from seventh to eighth grade. Interests and goals were significantly related within time and showed significant interactions across time. Traits related significantly and equally to interests and goals within time and predicted their development across time except for T/P goals. Goals and interests possessed incremental validity above traits in affecting each other. Implications include the need to account for dynamic processes in the development of goals and interests and their systematic relation to traits in theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Career Assessment
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)223-238
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2010

    Research areas

  • Business psychology - Adolescent career development, Career aspirations, Career goals, Developmental systems theory, Personality, Vocational interests