Trait–Factor Theory and Counseling Process

John F. Kosciulek, Brian N. Phillips, Michelle C. Lizotte

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The trait–factor counseling approach rests on the assumptions that people have different traits, that occupations require a particular combination of worker characteristics, and that effective vocational counseling matches a person’s traits with job requirements. This chapter provides a historical overview of the trait–factor theory, including a definition of major constructs. It describes the trait–factor counseling process and theoretical assumptions and reviews empirical evidence supporting trait–factor approaches and areas in need of further study. The chapter also provides specific applications of the trait–factor approach in rehabilitation counseling. It helps the reader to discuss major historical milestones in the development of the trait–factor approach, list the broad factors believed to be involved in the wise choice of a vocation, explain the evolution of trait–factor to person–environment theory and weigh the evidence for using a trait–factor approach in rehabilitation counseling.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCounseling Theories and Techniques for Rehabilitation and Mental Health Professionals
EditorsFong Chan, Norman L. Berven, Kenneth R. Thomas
PublisherSpringer Publishing Company
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-8261-9868-6
ISBN (Print)978-0-8261-9867-9
StatePublished - Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


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