Vocational Personality Traits in Counselor Education and School Psychology Students

Susan Kozelka ’15 is a post-doc psychologist at the Columbia University Medical Center. She, along with Dr. Yi Ding and co-authors, recently published “Vocational personality traits in counselor education and school psychology students” in the Journal of Employment Counseling. 

We assessed the vocational personality of 104 graduate students in school counseling, mental health counseling, and school psychology programs using Holland’s (1997) theory of personality and career choice. The correlational findings confirmed the importance of vocational personality traits in relation to the academic performance of graduate students. Among the Self-Directed Search–Revised vocational personality types, the Investigative type emerged as a consistent predictor of performance on all sections of the Graduate Record Examination. The participants from 3 graduate programs predominantly identified Social as their primary vocational personality type, with variability in the secondary and tertiary code positions. The student group with the highest degree of congruence, defined as the degree of fit between one’s personality and the environment, had the highest graduate grade point average, indicating the relationship between the degree of congruence and achievement. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

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