Change in Vocational Interests after Spinal Cord Injury

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Change in vocational interests of 117 males with spinal cord injury (SCI) was studied using the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory (SCII). The subjects' mean age at injury was 23.3 years; they were studied an average of 9.4 years after injury. Subjects completed two versions of the SCII, one with standardized instructions and one with instructions to recall interests from an earlier, preinjury age. Strong Vocational Interest Blanks taken prior to injury were located for 14 experimental subjects. These provided direct evidence concerning stability of interests and suggested that the larger group was relatively accurate in the recall of preinjury interests. A control group of 130 males, matched on age, also completed the SCII twice. The control group was used to assess the presence of any variance uniquely associated with the “recall” method. Results showed (1) that the interests of SCI males were as stable as those of their nondisabled peers; (2) that changes that did occur were consistent with those found in nondisabled samples; and (3) that the previously untried recall method is potentially useful in future research.

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