Does the Attainment of Vocational Aspirations Make Youths Happy?

Hyung In Park, Seunghee Lee, Bora Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study aims to investigate the developmental perspective on the relationships between person-vocation (P-V) fit and its criteria (extrinsic job satisfaction, workplace satisfaction, and happiness) using longitudinal data of 1041 youths in South Korea. While most previous studies on P-V fit examined the fit between vocational interests and characteristics of actual vocation, we examined the fit between aspired and attained occupation in its prestige levels. We utilized data collected at two time points with an 8-year interval: when the participants were high school seniors and when they were in early adulthood. Polynomial regression and response surface graphs revealed that the levels of the criteria increased as attained occupation matched with the aspired occupation at a high-high fit compared to a low-low fit. However, P-V misfit did not have a systematic relationship with any criteria. Happiness was the most relevant outcome, suggesting important implications regarding youths’ vocational aspirations and attainment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-475
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Career Assessment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Aug

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • happiness
  • person-vocation fit
  • polynomial regression
  • satisfaction
  • vocational aspiration
  • vocational attainment
  • youths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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