Current Trends in Korean Adolescents’ Social Purpose

Shin Jongho, Hyeyoung Hwang, Eunbyul Cho, Alexander McCarthy-Donovan


In the research presented we investigated the features of Korean adolescents’ social purpose as compared with other life goals in terms of different aspects of psychological well-being (study 1). We also examine the perceptions of high achieving Korean adolescents on social purpose and factors affecting it (study 2).The results of study 1 showed that the pursuit of social purpose significantly predicted psychological well-being compared to the other two life goals. Results of study 2 showed Korean adolescents value and pursue social purpose as a life goal. They explicitly accepted their social responsibility to serve their country in line with idyllic Confucianism values and Collectivistic roles. However, further analysis revealed that they had implicitly pursued individualistic desires of materialistic wealth and fame in parallel with their explicit social purpose. Implications of the results are discussed from the socio-cultural perspective on social purpose in regards to how to understand the features of social purpose that Korean adolescents have and how to foster its development.

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