Universality of Vocational Interest Structure among Racial and Ethnic Minorities

Susan X. Day, James Rounds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Some multicultural theory holds that it is quite possible for subgroups within the United States to have such divergent thought patterns from the White majority that mainstream psychological inventories are inappropriate measures. Differences in the circular structure of J. L. Holland's (1959, 1997) Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional vocational interests were investigated across racial and ethnic groups (African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Caucasians; N = 49,450), separated by sex. Three-way individual-differences scaling revealed that the 10 groups' responses reflected a markedly similar underlying structure, consistent with conventional interpretations of vocational interest patterns. The common structure of vocational interests is theoretically related to R. R. McCrae and P. T. Costa's (1997) claim of personality structure as a universal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)728-736
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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