Vladimir Hedrih

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The main objective of the study was to examine gender differences in vocational interests across three neighboring Balkan countries – Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Serbia. Vocational interests were operationalized through the spherical model of vocational interests and Holland’s RIASEC circumplex model. The study reanalyzed data from previously published studies that collected vocational interest data from these countries. Participants of the study were 2536 young people, bachelor students in case of Bulgaria and North Macedonia and young people, with a high proportion of students, in the case of Serbia. They completed the Personal Globe Inventory. The results showed large gender differences along the People-Things dimension with Cohen’s d values ranging between 1.34 and 1.5 in the three country subsamples. Males tended to have higher preferences for jobs and activities that involved working with things than females, while females tended to have higher preferences for jobs and activities involving working with people than males. A substantial difference, but of smaller magnitude, was found in all three countries on the vocational interest dimension of Prestige, with females having higher scores than men. This difference came partly from higher preferences of women for high prestige jobs compared to men, but to a much greater extent from a much lower preference of women for low prestige jobs and activities compared to men. Comparisons were also made on vocational interest types and the largest differences found corresponded to those found in other world countries.


vocational interests, spherical model of vocational interests, gender differences, Serbia, Bulgaria, North Macedonia

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