Gaudron - Estimating True Short-term Consistency in Vocational Interests- A Longitudinal SEM Approach

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Gaudron - Estimating True Short-term Consistency in Vocational Interests- A Longitudinal SEM Approach

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interests: A longitudinal SEM approach

Jean-Philippe Gaudron *, Stephane Vautier

OCTOGONE-CERPP, Psychology Department, Universite de Toulouse le Mirail, France

Received 2 July 2007

Available online 20 July 2007

Abstract

This study aimed at estimating the correlation between true scores (true consistency) of voca-

tional interest over a short time span in a sample of 1089 adults. Participants were administered

54 items assessing vocational, family, and leisure interests twice over a 1-month period. Responses

were analyzed with a multitrait (MT) model, which supposes no temporal change, and a latent

change (LC) model with temporally stable method effects. The LC model fitted the data well in

75% of cases whereas the MT never held. Error measurement is not sufficient in explaining the imper-

fect testretest manifest correlations. True consistency estimates were very high with an average of

.87, suggesting that although true temporal change occurs even within short periods its magnitude is

rather limited.

! 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Vocational interest; Stability; Consistency; Testretest correlation; Structural equation modeling;

Holland typology

1. Introduction

across short periods of time? The answer to this question is fundamental for both theoret-

ical and practical reasons. Theoretically, if interests are though of as personality traits

*

Corresponding author. Address: UFR de Psychologie, 5 allee Machado, Universite de Toulouse le Mirail,

31058 Toulouse Cedex 9, France. Fax: +33 5 61 50 49 50.

E-mail address: gaudron@univ-tlse2.fr (J.-P. Gaudron).

0001-8791/$ - see front matter ! 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2007.07.001

222 J.-P. Gaudron, S. Vautier / Journal of Vocational Behavior 71 (2007) 221232

(e.g., Hansen, 1984), the scores have to exhibit a high degree of temporal consistency even

over short period. Practically, if scores lack temporal stability, it is likely that they are of

little utility in predicting occupational or educational choices even over short time spans

(Hansen, 2005).

Since Strongs (1931, 1934) pioneering work, the issue of temporal stability or change of

vocational interests has received substantial attention in vocational psychology. Among

various methodological approaches that have been proposed to address the stability

and change issue, the testretest correlation between the observed scores has been tradi-

tionally used and reported. However, there is some confusion in the interpretation of

the testretest correlation as an indicator of stability or change because of the usually huge

effect of measurement error. The purpose of this study was to estimate the testretest cor-

relation between the true scores associated with items of vocational interests in a popula-

tion of adults across a short-term span. In this research, the testretest correlation between

the true scores will be called the true consistency.

There are various methodological approaches to the assessment of stability and change

in vocational interests (Strong, 1943; Swanson, 1999), all based on the testretest design.

The interval between the two occasions of testing can vary from 2 weeks (Ihle-Helledy,

Zytowski, & Fouad, 2004; Johansson & Campbell, 1971) to several decades (Campbell,

Borgen, Eastes, Johansson, & Peterson, 1968; Rottinghaus, Coon, Gaffey, & Zytowski,

2007; Vinitsky, 1973). Some longitudinal studies have included three or more occasions

(Darcy & Tracey, 2007; Helwig, 2003; Swanson & Hansen, 1988; Tracey & Robbins,

2005a; Tracey, Robbins, & Hofsess, 2005b). Recently, authors have used other approaches

to temporal stability of vocational interests, based on congruence indexes (Slaney, Hall, &

Bieschke, 1993; Tracey & Robbins, 2005a; Tracey et al., 2005b), the RIASEC structural

equivalence model (Darcy & Tracey, 2007; Tracey & Robbins, 2005a; Tracey et al.,

2005b), and structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the longitudinal relations

among RIASEC scale scores for children (Tracey, 2002) and for adolescents (Darcy &

Tracey, 2007; Tracey & Robbins, 2005a; Tracey et al., 2005b). But as in stability of per-

sonality research (Roberts & DelVecchio, 2000), three statistics are typically used and

reported: the mean level change, the testretest profiles correlation and the testretest

correlation.

With the mean level change, the mean scale scores at the different occasions are com-

pared to assess whether groups increase or decrease on interests over time. More rarely,

authors used not only the original test scale scores, but also derived measures such as

the mean of dimensional scores (Tracey & Robbins, 2005a; Tracey et al., 2005b).

The testretest profiles correlation focuses on how each individuals interests change

over time. Traditionally, in most cases, the rank-order correlation between profiles (i.e.,

the correlation between the orders of the scales for an individual) is calculated using the

Spearman rank correlation coefficient. These estimates are found to be very high (see

Low, Yoon, Roberts, & Rounds, 2005; Swanson, 1999) and also highlight considerable

individual differences. Occasionally change in the individual profile has been assessed with

other approaches: Tracey and his colleagues (Tracey & Robbins, 2005a; Tracey et al.,

2005b) conducted repeated measures MANOVA on two profile indicators, a profile differ-

ence index, and a profile clarity indicator.

J.-P. Gaudron, S. Vautier / Journal of Vocational Behavior 71 (2007) 221232 223

In vocational interest stability research, stability, and change have been most com-

monly assessed using the correlation between the scores observed at the test and the retest.

The coefficient used is the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, which mea-

sures the strength of the linear relationship between the corresponding variables. In their

recent quantitative review of vocational interest stability, Low et al. (2005) examined 66

studies which contained a stability index for a testretest interval greater than or equal

to 1 year. Overall, the studies reviewed yielded a total of 148 correlation estimates com-

prizing 30 profile correlations and 118 testretest correlations. Generally the estimates

are found to be very high (see Low et al., 2005; Swanson, 1999), particularly in short-term

intervals between the two occasions of testing. For example, Ihle-Helledy et al. (2004)

reported 10 correlation estimates ranging from .79 to .92 with an average of .86. However,

as high as the estimated values of the testretest correlation are, they never reach one.

Therefore, it is not possible to exclude that true change occurred in the meantime.

The main problem with the interpretation of the testretest correlation is that the effect

of temporal change in true scores within the time period and the effect of measurement

error at each occasion of testing cannot be disentangled. The estimated value of the cor-

relation can not be perfect even though no change occurred because of measurement error;

and even if the observed scores correlate perfectly, linear change may have occurred.

For a clear understanding of the meaning of the testretest correlation there is a need to

retrieve some basic descriptive statistics and Classical Test Theory (CTT) definitions.

Let us consider two observed variables Y1 and Y2 on two occasions of testing t = 1, 2, with

the usual CTT decomposition Y1 = T1 + E1, and Y2 = T2 + E2, where T and E represent

the true-score and the measurement error variables, respectively. The relationship

between the variables Y1 and Y2 can be represented in a path diagram as shown in

Fig. 1, upper panel. Consider now the correlation between the variables Y1 and Y2:

CovY 1 ; Y 2

CorY 1 ; Y 2 pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi ; 1

VarY 1 VarY 2

Replacing the observed variables by their respective components, considering the logi-

cal property Cov(Ti , Ei ) = 0, i = 1, 2 (the regressive independence of the true scores and

Fig. 1. Path diagram of the relation between two variables with (upper panel) or without (lower panel) temporal

change.

224 J.-P. Gaudron, S. Vautier / Journal of Vocational Behavior 71 (2007) 221232

(the latter referring to the independence of the measurement errors), the correlation

between the two observed variables is also:

CovT 1 ; T 2

CorY 1 ; Y 2 pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi : 2

VarT 1 VarE1 &VarT 2 VarE2 &

Finally, let us consider the correlation between the true-score variables T1 and T2:

CovT 1 ; T 2

CorT 1 ; T 2 pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi : 3

VarT 1 VarT 2

As can be seen, the difference between the correlation of two observed variables (Eq.

(2)) and their corresponding true-score variables (Eq. (3)) is the presence in the former

of the error variances in the denominator. It follows that the former underestimates the

latter:

VarT 1 ' VarY 1 ; i 1; 2 ) CorY 1 ; Y 2 ' CorT 1 ; T 2 : 4

observed variables is linked to the interweaving of measurement errors and change in true

scores. Note that two kinds of change could occur: nonlinear change or linear change

(T2 = aT1 + b, with a > 1). Note also that if there is no temporal change, then

T1 = T2 = T as shown in Fig. 1, lower panel. Thus, the possible existence of measurement

error and the possible existence of temporal change lead to six possible situations summa-

rized in Table 1.

If no measurement error did occur, that is, Var(E1) = Var(E2) = 0, the correlation

between the two observed variables and the correlation between the two true-score vari-

ables are equal. The correlation is smaller than one if temporal change did occur. The cor-

relation can be equal to one even if linear change did occur because two variables linearly

(and positively) related correlate perfectly. In practice however, such a case is unlikely.

If measurement error did occur, even if there is no temporal change, then

Cor(Y1, Y2) < Cor(T1, T2). In other words, the correlation between the two observed

variables strictly underestimates the correlation between the two true-score variables. In

such a case, the correlation between the two true-score variables is smaller than one if

temporal change did occur. But it can be equal to one, even if linear change did occur.

Thus, researchers interested in assessing testretest consistency are interested in estimating

Table 1

Interpretations of correlation between observed variables and between true-score variables

Change

Yes No

Nonlinear change T1 T2 Linear change T2 = aT1 + b, T1 = T2

a>0

Measurement No Cor(Y1, Y2) = Cor(T1, T2) Cor(Y1, Y2) = Cor(T1, T2) Cor(Y1, Y2) = Cor(T1, T2)

error Cor(T1, T2) < 1 Cor(T1, T2) = 1 Cor(T1, T2) = 1

Yes Cor(Y1, Y2) < Cor(T1, T2) Cor(Y1, Y2) = Cor(T1, T2) Cor(Y1, Y2) = Cor(T1, T2)

Cor(T1, T2) < 1 Cor(T1, T2) = 1 Cor(T1, T2) = 1

J.-P. Gaudron, S. Vautier / Journal of Vocational Behavior 71 (2007) 221232 225

the correlation between the true-score variables, i.e., the true consistency, instead of the

correlation between the observed variables.

The purpose of this paper was to estimate the true consistency of vocational interests

measured in a short-term testretest design. To do that, suitable measurement models

associated with an appropriate design were required. Two models with three variables cor-

responding to three measurement methods at each occasion of testing were compared: the

multitrait (MT) model, which states that there is no temporal true change, and the latent

change (LC) model, which assumes here that method effects due to the use of different

items are temporally stable, and that all items measure the same temporal true change

(Vautier, Steyer, & Boomsma, 2007). The MT model is a nested model because it is a spe-

cial case of the LC model as the true-score variables are equal across time. We hypothe-

sized that even if interests are relatively stable traits, short-term changes could exist

although they should be small fluctuations rather than drastic alterations. Consequently,

we expected high, but not perfect, true consistency estimates.

2. Method

2.1. Participants

The participants consisted of 1089 French adults who consented to respond to an anon-

ymous survey with some demographic data, two times with a 1 month interval. They were

recruited by third-year psychology students at the University of Toulouse, France, as a

course requirement. Each student made a list of several men and women, who were older

than 18 and not studying psychology, randomly selected one man and one woman from

his or her list, and asked them to take part in the study. There were 543 women

(49.9%) and 546 men (50.1%), with mean age of 31.2 years (ranging from 18 to 80).

21% had completed graduate school, 47% had an undergraduate education, 19% had grad-

uated from high school only, and the remaining 13% had not graduated from high school.

The sample included a large proportion of students (39%), but 61% came from a large

variety of non-student professions (including 8% who were unemployed).

The interest questionnaire comprized 18 triplets of items, i.e., 54 items altogether. Each

triplet referred to a particular activity and the 3 items were in fact the contextualization of

this activity in 3 life domains, the vocational domain, the family domain and the leisure

domain. For example, one triplet was To cook quality meals in a gourmet restaurant;

To cook quality meals for my family; To cook quality meals for friends and colleagues;

another triplet was To control the tax returns in tax collection office; To control the tax

returns of my family; To control the tax returns to help friends and neighbours. As can

been seen, the contextualization of an activity in a life domain was simply done by adding

a few words to the base statements to specify: (1) the job or the work context, for the voca-

tional context; (2) the home family or the children, for the family context; (3) the friends,

the community, the not-for-profit association, or free time context for the leisure context.

The 18 activities were chosen to represent one of the six Holland types, and were selected

from three previous empirical works with samples of 100 students, 95 adults and 497

226 J.-P. Gaudron, S. Vautier / Journal of Vocational Behavior 71 (2007) 221232

students. There were three activities for each Holland type. For example, To cook quality

meals is a realistic activity, To control the tax returns a conventional activity.

The 18 triplets were presented under each other with a space between them, and the

items were rated on an 8-point Likert scale from 1 (not interested at all) to 8 (very inter-

ested). To avoid order-effect, 4 versions were made: in each version, the 18 triplets were

randomly presented, and within each triplet, the 3 items were also randomly presented

(i.e., items were counterbalanced). However, if a participant completed a given version

first, he also completed the same given version 1 month later, and so on. An additional

demographic questionnaire assessed the sex, age, education level, and the socio-profes-

sional category of the participants.

2.3. Analyses

The sets of variables associated with the 18 triplets were analyzed separately using

the LC model and the nested MT model. We used Vautier et al.s (2007) general

model, which allows the analysis of non-congeneric test and retest variables. These

authors have extended the modeling of true change (Raykov, 1999; Steyer, Eid, &

Schwenkmezger, 1997) by adding individual method effects which reflect the individual

effects due to the use of different methods at each occasion of the testing (individual

method effects can arise when using, for example, different items, different ratters,

etc.). In the present study, the methods were the three contexts of the activity. Such

an approach, in which the contextualization of an interest is thought of as a method,

has been used for the purpose of assessing the method effects in a multitrait multi-

method approach (Gaudron & Vautier, 2007).

In the LC model, a measurement method has to be taken as the reference to define

the true-score variable of interest empirically. Because of the predominance of the voca-

tional interests in theory and practice in vocational psychology, as well as the purpose of

this study, we chose the vocational context method as the reference method. The path

diagram in Fig. 2 represents the LC model, where the subscripts v, f, and l denote

the vocational, family, and leisure contexts, respectively, the subscripts 1 and 2 denote

the occasions of testing, and Y, T, M, and E denote the manifest, true-score, method,

and measurement error variables, respectively. The model assumes that individual

method effects are temporally stable, which seems reasonable considering that the time

span is about 1 month.

J.-P. Gaudron, S. Vautier / Journal of Vocational Behavior 71 (2007) 221232 227

Tv1 = Tv2 = Tv, Tf1 = Tf2 = Tf + Mf, and Tl1 = Tl2 = Tl + Ml. If no change occurs, the

MT model should fit the data.

To get estimates of Cor(Tv1, Tv2) along with their standard errors in the LC model, we

fixed the variances of Tv1 and Tv2 to 1 and put an equality constraint on the regression

coefficients. In the MT model, the variances of the true-score variables were freely esti-

mated and the regression coefficients were set to 1. Both models were estimated by using

the robust maximum likelihood estimator MLR available in the Mplus software (Muthen

& Muthen, 1998). v2 difference tests were performed using the appropriate correction for

deviation from multivariate multinormality.

3. Results

The goodness-of-fit summaries of the 18 triplet datasets are given in Table 2. The LC

model closely fitted the data for 8 triplets as shown by the non-significant v2 values, the

CFI values above .99 and the RMSEA values below .05. The fit of the LC model was good

for 6 triplets datasets with CFI above .95 and RMSEA below .08. The model did not fit

the data for the remaining 4 triplets. None of the MT models fitted the data well, which

demonstrate that the hypothesis of perfect temporal stability between the test and the ret-

est can be rejected. Therefore, the v2 difference tests of differences (Dv2) were highly signif-

icant in any of the 18 triplets.

The LC model fitted 14 triplets datasets well. For these, it allowed the estimate of the

correlation between the two latent reference variables Tv1 and Tv2, i.e., the true consis-

tency. The 14 estimates are displayed in Table 3. They ranged from .77 to .92 with an aver-

age of .87. These coefficients were high but not perfect despite the fact that measurement

error was taken into account: temporal change occurred even if it was of a small magni-

tude in the short-term test retest design. Also displayed in Table 3 are the 18 correlations

between the referential observed variables, Yv1 and Yv2. They ranged from .57 to .72 with

an average of .66. On average, the underestimate due to measurement error (the difference

between the true correlation and the observed correlation) is about .20, ranging from .13

to .25.

228 J.-P. Gaudron, S. Vautier / Journal of Vocational Behavior 71 (2007) 221232

Table 2

Summary of fits indices of the different models on each activity

Model df v2 p Dv2 with Ddf = 5 RMSEA CFI

To cook quality meals

LC 7 81.626 .0000 .099 .958

MT 12 351.35 .0000 240.99 .161 .811

To assemble, to repair computers

LC 7 28.372 .0002 .053 .992

MT 12 440.233 .0000 357.67 .181 .831

To look after flowers and plants

LC 7 37.459 .0000 .063 .987

MT 12 271.631 .0000 213.73 .141 .893

To be present at a scientific conference

LC 7 48.46 .0000 .074 .976

MT 12 246.06 .0000 192.97 .134 .865

To observe animals behavior

LC 7 9.739 .20 .019 .999

MT 12 251.674 .0000 219.36 .135 .872

To study and observe stars

LC 7 30.982 .0000 .056 .988

MT 12 272.03 .0000 236.71 .141 .867

To take pictures

LC 7 38.142 .0000 .064 .982

MT 12 262.174 .0000 200.81 .138 .858

To write poems and short stories

LC 7 15.671 .03 .034 .996

MT 12 300.984 .0000 272.12 .149 .88

To draw

LC 7 33.458 .0000 .059 .984

MT 12 137.761 .0000 102.72 .098 .924

To propose educational activities

LC 7 75.33 .0000 .095 .965

MT 12 348.743 .0000 258.10 .161 .826

To comfort, to give old people ones support

LC 7 9.542 .22 .018 .999

MT 12 391.578 .0000 307.00 .170 .836

To listen, to offer to arbitrate

LC 7 14.187 .05 .031 .996

MT 12 302.54 .0000 277.17 .149 .848

To keep a sales stand

LC 7 7.052 .42 .003 1.00

MT 12 190.696 .0000 178.16 .117 .905

To trade, to get attractive prices

LC 7 97.473 .0000 .109 .961

MT 12 499.392 .0000 394.84 .193 .788

To persuade and to mobilize in support of a plan

LC 7 23.312 .002 .046 .99

MT 12 323.796 .0000 287.24 .154 .804

J.-P. Gaudron, S. Vautier / Journal of Vocational Behavior 71 (2007) 221232 229

Table 2 (continued)

Model df v2 p Dv2 with Ddf = 5 RMSEA CFI

To file mail and send letters in reply

LC 7 11.873 .10 .025 .998

MT 12 397.008 .0000 348.31 .172 .808

To use word-processing for correspondence

LC 7 118.841 .0000 .121 .941

MT 12 424.977 .0000 297.76 .178 .784

To control the tax returns

LC 7 48.313 .0000 .074 .975

MT 12 285.673 .0000 232.44 .145 .837

LC, latent change model; MT, multitrait model; RMSEA, root mean squared error of approximation; CFI,

comparative fix index.

Table 3

Testretest true consistency and correlation between observed variables estimates

Vocational interest True consistency Observed correlation

To cook quality meals in a gourmet restaurant .68 (.02)

To assemble, to repair computers in a computer store .82 (.02) .69 (.02)

To look after flowers and plants in the town gardens .90 (.01) .72 (.02)

To be present at a scientific conference as a scientist .89 (.01) .67 (.02)

To observe animals behavior for a research institute .87 (.01) .63 (.02)

To study and observe stars as an astronomer .89 (.01) .69 (.02)

To take pictures for several newspapers .89 (.01) .67 (.02)

To write poems and short stories for journals and magazines .88 (.01) .72 (.02)

To draw for a publicity campaign .93 (.01) .68 (.02)

To propose educational activities as a special education teacher .69 (.02)

To comfort, to give old people ones support as psychologist .89 (.01) .69 (.02)

To listen, to offer to arbitrate couples as marital counsellor .86 (.01) .68 (.02)

To keep a sales stand for a well-known brand in an international .88 (.01) .65 (.02)

fair

To trade, to get attractive prices for a central buying office .65 (.02)

To persuade and to mobilize in support of a plan of the firms .86 (.01) .66 (.02)

executives

To file mail and send letters in reply to the companys clients .79 (.02) .60 (.02)

To use word-processing for correspondence as a secretary .62 (.02)

To control the tax returns in tax collection office .77 (.03) .57 (.03)

Note. Values enclosed in parentheses are standard errors.

4. Discussion

The results of the present study suggested two conclusions. First, a latent change model

fitted the data far better than a model without change. More precisely, in 75% of cases (14/18

triplets), it was possible to account for the observed mean and covariance structure

with the latent change (LC) model; for none of the cases with the multitrait (MT) model.

Taking into account the sole error of measurement is not sufficient to account for imper-

fect testretest consistency, and it seems necessary to admit a change factor even in a

230 J.-P. Gaudron, S. Vautier / Journal of Vocational Behavior 71 (2007) 221232

short-term testretest design. However, for four triplets, the LC model did not fit the data

well. Thus, the conjoint hypotheses that the items measure a single attribute and tempo-

rally stable method effects do not hold in some cases. A more complex design would be

necessary to test the stability of method effects.

For the vocational interests associated with unconfirmed measurement models, the sole

coefficients available were the correlations between the observed variables. But for the

remaining 14, it could be possible to estimate the true consistency. And this approach

stressed the underestimation due to unreliability of the observed variables: Cor(T1, T2) >

Cor(Y1, Y2).

Hence, for the second conclusion, the present study suggested that only little change

occurred during the 1-month interval between test and retest. The true consistency esti-

mates ranged from .77 to .92. This conclusion is consistent with previous findings which

showed high short-term correlation coefficients (Campbell et al., 1968; Ihle-Helledy

et al., 2004). For example, Campbell et al. reported 22 1-month testretest correlation

coefficients ranging from .71 to 94. Also in the present study, the correlations between

the observed variables presented in Table 3 were smaller than those reported in such

short-term studies. This can be explained by the fact that all previous studies were based

on total testretest scoresusually simple sums of item scoresand generally composite

scores are more reliable than single item-scores. It is also compatible with Schuerger, Zar-

rella, and Hotz (1989) who found that the average number of items per scale has an effect

on short-term interval stability.

One limitation of this study was due to the chosen model even if the LC model has sev-

eral advantages, particularly the possibility of analyzing non-congeneric testretest data

(Vautier et al., 2007). The individual method effects are assumed to be temporally stable:

thus, we had to assume that the individual effects due to the use of family context instead

of vocational context were the same in the two occasions of testing (idem for leisure con-

text). Furthermore, if one is interested in assessing the true consistency of interests in the

case of long time periods, the hypothesis of temporally stable method effects is question-

able. The presented estimates were limited to short-term design as research either on voca-

tional interests (Johansson & Campbell, 1971; Low et al., 2005; Swanson, 1999) or on

personality (Roberts & DelVecchio, 2000; Schuerger et al., 1989) have stressed the effect

of time intervals on the size of the correlation coefficients. Another limitation of this study

was that the sample studied was drawn from the French adult population, even if it gives

the opportunity to compare with samples from other regional and cultural contexts or

with samples of younger participants.

More than 70 years ago, Strong claimed that The evidence is clear that interests are

very stable from 25 to 55 years of age. The evidence is also clear that there are real changes

from 15 to 30 of age (Strong, 1934, p. 337). Since that time, if research on vocational

interests during adolescence tend to focus either on stability or on change reflecting the

two vocational interest traditions, i.e., the differential tradition and the developmental tra-

dition (Tracey et al., 2005b), research on vocational interests during adulthood focused

only on stability. However, the stability estimates were not so high as to warrant the con-

clusion that no change occurred in adulthood (Low et al. 2005, p. 727). Swanson (1999)

suggested recognizing the possibility of stability and of change and the importance to

define the difference between the two processes (p. 145). Also recently, Tracey et al.

(2005b) demonstrated the value of incorporating both consistency and change when exam-

ining vocational interests during adolescence.

J.-P. Gaudron, S. Vautier / Journal of Vocational Behavior 71 (2007) 221232 231

Our findings, with the recommended caution due to the lack of prior research in voca-

tional interests to enable comparison, underline the interest of appreciating true testretest

consistency by disentangling temporal change in true scores from measurement error.

Practically, if the magnitude of testretest true change is limited, practitioners may neglect

this aspect in using usual measurements of interests to predict occupational or educational

choices over short time spans.

Our findings also suggest several areas for future research. For example, what are the

estimates of true consistency for long-term testretest design? Even if no large differences

in stability of interests over time across gender or ethnicity have been found either for ado-

lescents or adults (see Low et al., 2005; Tracey & Robbins, 2005a), do these true consis-

tency estimates vary across groups of individual (gender, ethnicity, and personality

traits)? Does the LC model account for temporal change due to the transient nature of

the attribute to be measured (Vautier et al., 2007) during adolescence? Such an approach

could be a response to Swanson (1999) request for the development of some indices that

will account for both consistency and change.

References

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scales for the Strong Vocational Interest Blank for men. Journal of Applied Psychology, 52, 154.

Darcy, M. U. A., & Tracey, T. J. G. (2007). Circumplex structure of Hollands RIASEC interests across gender

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