Vocational interests and prospective college majors among youth of color in poverty

Matthew A. Diemer, Qiu Wang, Aaron V. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A clear sense of vocational interests may facilitate high school students' capacity to connect current interests to congruent educational and occupational environments. This is particularly important for youth who experience external constraints on career development and college attendance. This study examined how well vocational interests, operationalized as greater differentiation and strength of interests, predict congruent prospective college majors among high school-aged youth of color in poverty. Multiple regression analyses suggested that vocational interests significantly predicted congruent majors for samples of American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/ Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, and Latino/Latina youth. This study suggests that vocational interests may help marginalized youth connect disparate phases of their work lives, extends previous scholarship by examining high school-aged and marginalized youth, and informs vocational and postsecondary counseling and guidance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-110
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Career Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Career development
  • College majors
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Social class
  • Vocational interests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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