A longitudinal and multi-method examination of interest-occupation congruence within and across time

Bart Wille, Terence Tracey, Marjolein Feys, Filip De Fruyt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Remarkably little research has addressed change and stability in person-environment fit across time. The objective of the current study was to address this gap in the literature by investigating Holland interest-occupation congruence across time for a sample of college alumni (N=167) that were tracked during the first third of their professional career. Congruence was examined in all its complexity, including a repeated assessment of both occupations and interests, the use of objective (O*NET) and subjective (self-report) environment assessment methods, and adopting sophisticated congruence calculation methods (i.e., Euclidean distance and profile correlation). This resulted in a total of 12 interest-occupation comparisons within and across time that could be related to general and career specific well-being. The results first indicated moderate levels of stability in interests and occupations across the 15-year time interval, yet also with room for change. Congruence analyses indicated significant interest-occupation fit at the beginning of the career and 15. years later, with the magnitude of congruence slightly varying depending on which occupation assessment and which congruence method was used. Profile correlation congruence did not change over time in absolute terms and evidenced relative stability. Euclidean distance indices had little relative stability over time but did manifest some absolute changes in levels of congruence. Finally, job change moderated the association between interest-occupation congruence and life satisfaction in such a way that higher levels of satisfaction were reported only when little job change was present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-73
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Career satisfaction
  • Interest-occupation congruence
  • Life satisfaction
  • Longitudinal
  • Person-environment fit
  • RIASEC interests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'A longitudinal and multi-method examination of interest-occupation congruence within and across time'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this