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Reciprocal Relation Between Authenticity and Calling among Chinese University Students: A Latent Change Score Approach

Andreas Hirschi

Zhang, C., Hirschi, A., Dik, B. J., Wei, J. & You, X. (2018). Reciprocal relation between authenticity and calling among Chinese university students: a latent change score approach. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 107, 222-232. doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2018.05.005


It is common to hear that following one’s “true self” is an important means to find a calling, yet no study has directly examined this possibility. In this study, we investigate the change pattern between authenticity and calling. Specifically, we conducted a three-wave longitudinal study with 459 Chinese university students over one year and examined the reciprocal dynamic relationship between authenticity (i.e., authentic living, self-alienation, and accepting external influence) and calling. Results of a bivariate latent change score model examining within- individual changes over time showed that increases in authentic living were positively correlated with increases in calling, while increases in self-alienation and accepting external influence negatively correlated with increases in calling. We also found that higher levels of calling predicted less decrease in authentic living. However, higher levels of authentic living significantly predicted a decrease in calling over time. Our findings contribute to the literature on calling by suggesting a dynamic change pattern of authenticity and calling among Chinese university students.

Keywords: Calling, authenticity, authentic living, accepting external influence, latent change score model