J Dent Hyg Sci.  2021 Mar;21(1):28-37. 10.17135/jdhs.2021.21.1.28.

Relationship between Career Success Perception and Protean Career Management Behavior in Clinical Dental Hygienists

  • 1Department of Dental Hygiene, Namseoul University, Cheonan 31020, Korea


Career success is the psychological achievement associated with an individual’s work. Protean career management behavior is the behavior of managing individual careers in order to achieve individual career goals. The purpose of this study was to clarify the career success of dental hygienists as perceived by clinical dental hygienists and to compare the relationship between career success and protean career management behavior.
Nationwide convenience samples of clinical dental hygienists were obtained; 354 people were surveyed online, and the data of 350 people were finally analyzed. The perception of career success of dental hygienists was assessed using a multiple response method. T-test, ANOVA, and χ2 tests were performed to investigate the differences and relationships between protean career management behavior and career success according to the general characteristics.
Career success was recognized by clinical dental hygienists as “income”, “work proficiency”, “patient consultation”, “self-satisfaction”, and “recognition by superiors” in order. There were significant differences in protean career management behavior according to general characteristics (p<0.05). Higher career management behavior was common in those higher in age, in married participants, in those with higher educational background, and in those with a higher career, better position, and more job change experience (p<0.05). Among the variables of career success perceived by clinical dental hygienists, “work proficiency” had a significant effect on “career management behavior” (p<0.05). “Work proficiency” and “recognition by superiors” were significant in “protean technological development behavior,” and they also influenced actual behavior (p<0.05).
The relationship between dental hygienists’ career success and protean career management behavior was clarified. Dental hygienists performed career management behaviors to develop work ability and skills. In addition, the relationship between career management behavior and long-term employment was confirmed.


Career; Career management; Career success; Dental hygienist; Protean career management behavior
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