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Vocational, academic, and activity interests of Australian high school pupils: Preliminary report

  • James A Athanasou (a1)


The purpose of this paper is to provide some preliminary data on the vocational interests of a sample of Australian high school pupils. Subjects (N=935) from five high schools were administered the Career Interest Test, which provides idiographic, forced-choice assessments of Outdoor, Practical, Scientific, Creative, Business, Office, and People Contact vocational interests across the three dimensions of vocations, academic preferences, and leisure activity choices. Interests are not related to age but there are significant sex differences as well as interaction effects, with males higher on Outdoor and Practical and females higher on Creative and People Contact categories. Data are provided on male and females preferences for each of the 63 paired choices (i.e., 126 items). The intercorrelation of the interests was assessed in terms of Holland's vocational typology. The validity of vocational/academic/activity measures of interests was reflected in comparisons with expressed occupational choices. It was argued that interests may be considered in terms of work-task preferences and that male-female differences in interests are consistent with Gotffredson's role of stereotypes in interest development. The implications for the assessment of vocational inlerests are discussed in terms of item content, format, scoring, and interpretation.


Corresponding author

School of Adult Vocational Education, University of Technology, Sydney, PO Box 123, BROADWAY, NSW 2007


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