Gender Differences in Holland Vocational Personality Types: Implications for School Counselors (Report)

The vocational development of inner-city adolescents is often impaired by a number of factors. These factors include a lack of opportunity related to low socioeconomic status (41.6% of all Americans who live in poverty live in the inner cities; Dreier, 2004); lower high school graduation rates, with overall graduation rates of inner-city adolescents less than 50% (Greene, 2002); less access to working role models (Fleischer & Dressner, 2002); less exposure to direct career experience; and less access to information regarding career options (Turner & Lapan, 2003). Further, researchers have shown that restricted patterns of career aspirations among inner-city adolescents appear as early as middle school, with these young people having less variability in their interest patterns, and with ethnic minority inner-city adolescents having greater interests in less prestigious but potentially more available occupations such as manual labor or outdoor work (Turner & Lapan). Finding ways to assist inner-city young people to participate in meaningful career development activities may help ameliorate some of the challenges they face as they seek to prepare for and embark upon their life’s work. The American School Counselor Association supports school counselors’ efforts to help students focus on academic, personal/social, and career development so they achieve success in school and are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society. One primary way of assisting young people’s career development is by helping them understand their own intrinsic interests and abilities through self-exploration and career exploration. The most frequently used classification system guiding this exploration is Holland’s (1997) theory of vocational personality types and work environments.

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