Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Examination of Interest Inventories Based on Roe's Classification

Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Examination of Interest Inventories Based on Roe's Classification

Article excerpt

This article describes the adaptation of two interest inventories translated into English, based on Roe's ( 1956) classification of occupations. In an analysis based on the responses of 181 participants, the items followed the 6 rules for interest inventory items formulated by Meir and Gati (1981). The Cronbach alpha reliability of the 8 field scores in the 2 inventories ranged between .73 and .91. A Smallest Space Analysis (SSA) on 8 field scores on the Ramak, 8 field scores on the Courses and 6 personality type scores on Holland's (1973) Vocational Preference Inventory (VPI) supported the construct validity of the inventories.

The measurement of vocational interests is an essential part of the process of career counseling. "Vocational interests are probably the most frequently assessed traits in career counseling" (Walsh & Osipow, 1990, p. 15). The array of existing interest inventories includes various approaches, each with its pros and cons and with its advocates who believe that their choice of instrument is the optimal one. Most existing interest inventories do not provide adequate information on the respondent's level of aspiration. In responding to Holland's (1985) Self-Directed Search (SDS), participants perform a self-evaluation of their competencies but not the extent to which they wish to make use of these competencies. In their spherical representation of vocational interests, Tracey and Rounds (1996) included a level dimension labeled "prestige construct However, like other investigators (e.g., Roe, 1956), they do not provide a means to measure a client's aspiration level. Moreover, the spherical representation "probably exceeds the degree of complexity that clients can comprehend about the world of work" (Hansen, 1996, p. 75).

All of the preceding limitations and criticisms of interest inventories led us to translate and adapt the Ramak and Courses inventories for use with an English language population. In this article, we describe the attributes of the English version of the Ramak and the Courses interest inventories, both based on Roe's (1956) occupational classification. In Roe's classification, there are eight occupational fields (Bu = Business, Or = Organization, Gc = General culture, Sv = Service, AE =Arts & Entertainment, Od = Outdoor, Sc = Science, and Te = Technology) and six levels. In developing the Ramak, the six levels were compressed into four levels to gain more consensus in identifying occupations by level (1 = professional and managerial, 2 = semiprofessional, 3 = skilled, and 4 = semi-skilled and unskilled).

The advantages of interest inventories based on Roe's (1956) classification are twofold. First, Roe's classification separates the Social field in Holland's (1985) terms between social careers, which emphasize person-to-person interactions labeled "Service" by Roe, and social careers, which are community- or group-oriented such as the educational and humanities careers labeled "General culture" by Roe. Second, Roe's classification uses a special field labeled "Outdoor," which includes careers in "agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, forestry, and mining" (Roe,1956, p. 210). As to the other fields, there is a high similarity on the one hand between Roe's Arts and Entertainment, Technology, Science, Business, and Organization and on the other hand Artistic, Realistic, Investigative, Enterprising, and Conventional, in Holland's (1973,1985) terms (Meir & Ben-Yehuda, 1976). In addition, scores on the Ramak reflect the participant's level of aspirations and vocational interest crystallization, information not included in interest inventories based on Holland's (1985) typology (although Holland claims otherwise) and other interest inventories.

The administration time required for both Ramak and Courses is about 10 minutes, which is less than the administration time for any other single interest inventory except, perhaps, the Vocational Preference Inventory (VPI). …

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