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The effects of vocational interests on motivation, satisfaction, and academic performance: Test of a mediated model
Journal of Vocational Behavior  (IF6.065),  Pub Date : 2021-04-27, DOI: 10.1016/j.jvb.2021.103583
Christopher D. Nye, Joshua Prasad, James Rounds

Theory and research suggest that vocational interests should predict individual behavior at work, in school, and during leisure time. However, more research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms for these relationships. In the present study, we suggest that satisfaction and motivation are direct outcomes of vocational interest fit and mediate the relationship between interest fit and behavior. We test this mediation model in a seven-week longitudinal study examining the prediction of academic performance in a sample of 372 college students. Results indicated that vocational interest fit had direct effects on performance, citizenship behavior, counterproductive behavior, and intent to leave even after controlling for cognitive ability and conscientiousness. Both motivation and satisfaction also mediated the relationships with several of these outcomes. Finally, results also showed that an objective measure of interest fit was a better predictor of performance while a perceived fit measure was a stronger predictor of satisfaction. These results suggest that vocational interest fit may be useful for identifying individuals who are likely to be successful in school and help to clarify several of the underlying mechanisms for this relationship.