Cognitive Processes and Their Associations With Vocational Identity Development During Emerging Adulthood

Bora Lee, Bora Song, Eunjeong Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In the present study, we examined the associations between cognitive processes and vocational identity development. A sample of 318 Korean emerging adults participated in the study. Using three-wave longitudinal data and applying multilevel modeling, we tested within- and between-person-level associations. We found that individuals who are higher in career self-efficacy than others are more likely to be engaged in exploration and commitment. Those who exhibit more dysfunctional career thoughts are less likely to be engaged in commitment but more likely to reconsider their identities. We found a similar pattern at the within-person level: At times when one exhibits high self-efficacy than usual, one is more likely to be engaged in exploration and commitment; however, at times when one exhibits more dysfunctional thoughts than usual, one is less likely to be committed to a career and more likely to reconsider. We discuss the implications of the study results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-541
Number of pages12
JournalEmerging Adulthood
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The data used in this study were supported by funding from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2014S1A3A2044196). This study was also supported by the College of Education, Korea University Grant in 2015 granted to the corresponding author.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood and SAGE Publishing.


  • Korean
  • longitudinal
  • multilevel modeling
  • school-to-work transition
  • vocational identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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