Vocational interests after recent spinal cord injury: Comparisons related to sex and race

James S. Krause, Lee L. Saunders, David Staten, Daniel E. Rohe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare vocational interests as a function of sex and race among persons with recent spinal cord injury (SCI), because previous research used almost exclusively white men. Limited research from nearly 2 decades ago suggested SCI selectively occurs to men whose vocational interests are consistent with the Realistic theme of the Holland typology, indicative of a preference for activities and occupations requiring physical strength and dexterity. Design: The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) was completed an average of 50 days after SCI onset. Setting: Data were collected at a specialty hospital and analyzed at a medical university. Participants: Adults with traumatic SCI (N=500) were assessed during inpatient rehabilitation. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measure: The SII, a 317-item measure of vocational interests. Results: Although the findings for white men were consistent with elevation of the Realistic theme when compared with the reference group, the interests of women and black participants were substantially different. Women scored highest on Social, Enterprising, and Conventional themes compared with the reference group. Black participants reported significantly higher elevations than whites on 5 themes (all except Realistic), with elevations on the Social, Enterprising, and Conventional themes exceeding standardized norms. The Artistic and Investigative themes were least descriptive of the overall sample. Conclusions: Rehabilitation professionals should be aware of likely differences in patterns of vocational interests as a function of race and sex, and use vocational interests as a means of facilitating postinjury adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)626-631
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Employment
  • Occupations
  • Personality
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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