PARENT’S SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS AS DETERMINANTS OF CAREER CHOICE CONFLICT AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ABUJA (FCT)

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the extent to which parents’ socio-demographic factors such as age, educational qualification, type of education and socio-economic status influenced career choice conflict of senior secondary school students in Abuja, FCT. To guide the study, four research questions were posed and four null hypotheses formulated. Ex-post facto research design was adopted for the study. The study was carried out in Bwari, Gwagwalada and the municipal area councils of Abuja. The population for the study consists of 17,913 senior secondary school one (SS1) students in the approved government senior secondary schools in Abuja (FCT). The sample size for the study was 350 students from the area of study. Multistage sampling technique was adopted in selecting the sample. A structured questionnaire titled Students’ Career Choice Conflict Questionnaire (SCCCQ)’ was used for data collection. The research questions were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as Mean and Standard Deviation while the hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level using one-way ANOVA. The results of the study revealed that age range and socio-economic status level of parents do not significantly influence the students’ career choice conflict. However, Parents’ educational qualification as well as their type of education does significantly influenced the students’ career choice conflict. This study has educational implications on career choice conflict of students from highly qualified and educated parents from high schools such as University and secondary schools. Based on the findings, it was recommended among others that significant career influencers such as friends, parents, members of the community and media personnel need to be equipped with correct career information for them to guide students appropriately.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
In our society today, students face a complex and rapidly changing society. It has been reported that regardless of great effort put forth by families, government agencies and non-government agencies, many young people encounter difficulties in the transition from the world of school to that of work (Atchoarena cited in Pilot & Regis, 2012). Investigating and better understanding the myriad factors that contribute to career choice is a topic of recurring interest in our schools today. To guide students in their career decision making, socio-demographic factors play a central role in this lifelong process (Pilot & Regis, 2012). These factors include family, school, career guidance program, media and peers. In this study, the influence of family will only be investigated.

Family involvement was found to be the most significant predictor of career choice in gender dominated occupations (Salami, 2006). Family involvement refers to the extent to which the parents or family members are involved in the career plans of children (Salami, 2006). According to Kniveton (2004), the family can provide information and guidance directly or indirectly, to influence a young person’s career choice. For example, parents offer appropriate support for certain occupational choices which tend to follow their own (Small & McClean, 2002). Family involvement also includes the extent to which parents give encouragement, responsiveness, approval and financial support in matters concerned with the career plans of their children (Salami, 2006). Families treat boys and girls differently. Boys are shaped and groomed into stereotypic masculine careers and are given more status in the family (Grant, 2004). However, Carter and Wojtkiewicz (2000) argue that female students receive more attention from parents than male offsprings. They attribute the parents’ behaviour to the current emphasis on educational attainment for females. Students identify parents as the strongest influence on career and course decisions (Barnett, 2007). Teachers or counselors cannot replace the influence parents have on their sons’ and daughters’ career plans. Research shows that parents and caregivers influence student’s career choices (Muthu- krishna and Sokoya, 2008) with the mother being the most influential person the adolescent talks to concerning career choice (Otto, 2000). Mothers were cited as particularly influential because they provided support that eased the children’s apprehensions about careers (Hairston, 2000).

In South Africa, Ngesi (2003) notes that poor financial base of students from disadvantaged communities deter choices of appropriate educational programmes and careers. Such students tend to avoid careers which appear to them to require long period of training their finance cannot support (Ngesi, 2003). This suggests that students from lower socio-economic families are not given adequate space to make independent decisions on their careers. For instance, a study by Salami (2006) shows that the higher the attitude towards religion, socio-economic status, achievement motivation and family involvement, the more the female students tended to choose gender dominated careers like nursing and engineering. Most of the females who chose engineering were from high socio-economic status homes while feminine stereotyped occupations were chosen by females from lower socio-economic status homes (Salami, 2006). The trend suggests that parents in higher socio-economic status homes have more opportunity structures like financial and material resources, wider information and horizons about occupations (Salami, 2006).

It is a well know fact that in our society today, parents are the ones that nurture, raise, promote and support the physical, emotional, social, intellectual and career development needs of the students. They serve as significant interpreters for children of information about the world and children’s abilities (Pitol & Regis 2012). The students on their part tend to seek help from parents to learn to interpret reality. The reliance invariably gives parents undeniable opportunities to make impact on the development of their children’s future, aspirations and career choices. Sad enough, the researcher observed that parents due to some personal considerations fail to play this vital role well. This is because they shift focus from the child’s interest and abilities to some personal factors peculiar to them in reaching decisions. This situation becomes a problem when the parental views differ remarkably from the career intentions of their children. When this happens, it might result to career choice conflict.

According to (Ngesi, 2003) Conflict is a part of all nature and systems including the parents and the adolescents in relation to their choice of career. Career choice conflict between parents and students from the researcher’s view point occur when there is a disagreement between parents and their child over the career the child should pursue. This is experienced when the freedom to make a choice of a career by young people is not always allowed by their parents. It also arises when a parent pressures a child toward a particular career just for the purpose of ensuring that the child pursues his/her career intentions. Otto (2000) observed that parents’ reasons for enforcing their own career goals on the students is because they believe they know more than the students and the career they select for their children will be most likely the best for them. In addition, parents in their selfish pride regard certain careers as more prestigious than others and would want to be seen as parents whose child is in that career. Often times, parents who owned and established a successful career/business in a specialized field like medicine law, pharmacy, etc would want their children to follow that same career so that they can pass it on to them even when their children may not have the aptitude for such careers (Grant, 2004). For instance, the researcher has witnessed a scenario in one of the placement services conducted for JSS 3 students going into SSI where a parent who was a pharmacist insisted that his ward must study pharmacy and take over from him. Even though his ward indicated that he has no such ability and did not express an interest or intention to become one, his father wants him to become a pharmacist. There are also instances where parents who could not achieve a certain career during their lifetime would try to pass their failed ambition to their children and would make it mandatory for the students to attain that career they did not attain. There are other occasions where parents fear that the careers chosen by the students are not realistic and may not give them a secured future. This happens when a child decides to become an entertainer, comedian, musician, artist, dancer, modeler, actor/actress, footballer etc and feels that schooling is no longer relevant to him/her. In such instances, any plan by the parents to get him to focus on his studies would be construed by him as being obstacles to his future. Because most parents feel that those career paths are not real and sustainable careers, they would want to persuade the students not to follow such career paths by engaging in career conflict with the child. The researcher has witnessed a case where a student was disowned by his parents because he wants to be a musician as against a lawyer which was.....

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 68 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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