Journal of Vocational Behavior

The Journal of Vocational Behavior (JVB) publishes empirical, methodological, and theoretical articles that expand knowledge about vocational choice and work adjustment across the life span. Studies of vocational choice typically examine topics such as career choice; occupational interests; the relation of abilities, needs, values, interests, and personality to occupational aspirations and the career decision-making process; vocational development tasks and career stages; the effects of culture, demographic variables, and experiential factors on career decision making and occupational attainment; career indecision and vocational maturity; occupational stereotyping; and career exploration and job search. Studies of work adjustment typically investigate topics such as job performance and success; job satisfaction; mentoring; work adjustment; organizational commitment and job involvement; work-family relations and multiple role management; work-leisure relations; midlife career change; occupational reentry; and transitions from work to retirement. JVB also publishes articles about career interventions and conceptual articles that address career theory. Psychometric research is also represented, particularly manuscripts that report the construction and initial validation of new instruments, but also studies that evaluate the reliability and validity of widely used instruments that measure central concepts in vocational choice and work adjustment. Articles that report meta-analyses and research integration of the topics noted above are highlighted in the journal.

JVB’s distinctiveness arises from its emphasis on publishing research that deals with vocational behavior from the perspective of the individual rather than the perspective of the organization. Studies of organizational behavior and of variables more highly related to the welfare of organizations than to the individual ordinarily do not appear in JVB. Thus, JVB does not publish research on organizational topics such as leadership or management. Intermittently, the journal publishes special issues that explore a single topic in depth. Often these special issues relate to significant anniversaries in the field of vocational psychology such as the 40th anniversary of John L. Holland’s theory of vocational personalities and work environments (August 1999) and the 30th anniversary of JVB’s founding (October 2001). Special issues are also used to highlight emerging perspectives and to assemble articles on a single topic. Recent special issues have addressed technology and careers, careers in academe, social constructionism, career specialty choice, and longitudinal studies of development in context. The list of most-downloaded articles reflects strong interest in the topics of emotional intelligence, person-organizational fit, work-family relations, organizational commitment, mentoring, career success, and career decision making.

JVB was founded in 1971 by Samuel H. Osipow, then a professor of psychology at Ohio State University who sought an outlet for research on vocational psychology. Osipow has been succeeded by Lenore W. Harmon, Nancy E. Betz, Howard E. A. Tinsley, and since 1999 Mark L. Savickas. JVB publishes 1200 pages each calendar year in the form of six issues divided equally into two volumes. Originally published by Academic Press, JVB is now published by Elsevier. Abstracts and the full text of all articles published in volumes 1-70 are available on Science Direct.


  1. Savickas, M. L. (2004). Vocational psychology. In C. Spielberger (Ed.), Encyclopedia of applied psychology (pp. 655-667). Boston: Elsevier Academic.
  2. Savickas, M. L., & Baker, D. B. (2005). The history of vocational psychology: Antecedents, origin, and early development. In W. B. Walsh & M. L. Savickas (Eds.), Handbook of vocational psychology (3rd ed., pp. 15-50). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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