Interest change and continuity from early adolescence to middle adulthood

  • K. S. Douglas Low
  • James Rounds
Original Paper


The present paper discusses the continuity and change of individuals’ vocational interests by reviewing recent research on interest development across the life course. Five forms of change and continuity were proposed to adequately describe interest development. The developmental trajectory of interests based on a recent meta-analysis by Low, Yoon, Roberts, and Rounds (2005) was presented. Mechanisms resulting in change and continuity are discussed within a biopsychosocial context. Implications for understanding the way interests can simultaneously change and become stable were presented.



Modification et permanence des intérêts du début de l’adolescence au milieu de l’âge adulte. Le présent article discute la permanence et la modification des intérêts professionnels individuels en faisant la revue de la recherche récente sur le développement des intérêts au cours de la vie. Cinq formes de modification et de permanence sont proposées pour décrire adéquatement le développement des intérêts. On présente la trajectoire développementale des intérêts basée sur une récente méta-analyse de Low, Yoon, Roberts et Rounds (2005). On discute les mécanismes aboutissant à une modification et à une permanence dans un contexte biopsychosocial. On présente les implications pour la compréhension de la manière dont les intérêts peuvent simultanément se modifier et demeurer stables.


Veränderung und Kontinuität von Interessen zwischen früher Jugendzeit und mittlerem Erwachsenenalter. Dieser Artikel diskutiert die Kontinuität und die Veränderung von individuellen beruflichen Interessen, indem er aktuelle Forschungsergebnisse zur Entwicklung von Interessen im Lebensverlauf analysiert. Fünf Formen von Veränderung bzw. Kontinuität werden vorgeschlagen, um so die Entwicklung von Interessen angemessen zu beschreiben. Die entwicklungsorientierte Trajektion von Interessen auf der Grundlage einer aktuellen Meta-Analyse von Low, Yoon, Roberts und Rounds (2005) wird vorgestellt. Mechanismen, die zu Veränderung bzw. Kontinuität führen, werden in einem biopsychologischen Zusammenhang diskutiert. Es werden Ansätze für das Verständnis vorgestellt, in welcher Weise Interessen sich gleichzeitig verändern und stabilisieren können.


Cambio y continuidad de los intereses desde la Adolescencia Temprana a la Adultez Media. Este artículo estudia la continuidad y el cambio en los intereses vocacionales de los individuos a través de la revisión de las investigaciones recientes sobre el desarrollo de los intereses a lo largo del ciclo vital. Se propusieron cinco modalidades de cambio y continuidad para describir adecuadamente el desarrollo de los intereses. Se presentó la trayectoria evolutiva de los intereses basada en un reciente meta-análisis realizado por Low, Yoon, Roberts, Round (2005). Se discuten los mecanismos que conducen al cambio y a la continuidad dentro de un contexto biopsicosocial. Se presentan las implicaciones para comprender la forma en que los intereses pueden cambiar y volverse estables de manera simultánea.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Psychology University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA

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