Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Krause, J. S., Saunders, L. L., Staten, D., & Rohe, D. E. (2011). Vocational interests after recent spinal cord injury: Comparisons related to sex and race. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 92 (4), 626-31.
Title:  Vocational interests after recent spinal cord injury: Comparisons related to sex and race
Authors:  Krause, J. S., Saunders, L. L., Staten, D., & Rohe, D. E.
Year:  2011
Journal/Publication:  Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Publisher:  American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  The Holland theory of vocational choice states that there are six personality types and that people will seek employment that fits with their type. Types are Realistic (likes to work with hands), Investigative (problem solving), Artistic (high degree of creativity), Social (service oriented and outgoing), Enterprising (business oriented), and Conventional (orderly and values technical proficiency) .Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) can cause physical limitations that can impact the ability to work in some environments, particularly those that require the use of hands and working with objects as opposed to data and people. Past research has indicated that people‚Äôs vocational interests will not change after SCI even if the injury prevents them from working in that environment. The research focused mostly on white males and women and minorities have been underrepresented in research in this field.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to identify vocational interest patterns among new SCI patients and compare patterns as a function of sex and race.
Setting:  Participants were recruited from a specialty hospital in the Southeastern United States
Study sample:  Adults (N=500) with traumatic SCI took part in this study. White men were 56.8% of the sample, white women 16.0%, black men 22.0%, and black women 5.2%. Average age at injury was 32.9 years old. Seventy five percent of participants were working at the time of the injury.
Control or comparison condition:  Strong Interest Inventory (SII) scores were compared as a function of race and sex. SII scores of the participants were also compared to a standardized reference group.
Data collection and analysis:  Descriptive statistics were used to describe the study sample and scores on the SII. MANOVA was used to identify significant differences in the SII scores according to race and gender.
Findings:  White men scored high on the Realistic theme as compared to the reference group, women scored high on Social, Enterprising, and Conventional themes as compared to the reference group. Blacks scored higher than whites on all themes except for Realistic.
Conclusions:  Vocational rehabilitation counselors should be aware of the differences in interests according to race and sex. Further research is needed to determine changes in interest over an extended period of time. Hispanics and other minority groups should also be included in future research.

Disabilities served:  Spinal cord injury (SCI)