14 SES 08 A, The Role of Parents in Reading, STEM and Career Adaptability
The competence to adapt to the ever-changing nature of work is becoming more and more important In view of the global economic restructuring and rapid changes in labor market. To measure this important quality, Savickas (1997) has developed the concept of career adaptability, which he defined as ‘the readiness to cope with the predictable tasks of preparing for and participating in the work role and with the unpredictable adjustments prompted by changes in work and working conditions’. While many past studies have revealed parental influences on career development in general (see the review by Whiston & Keller, 2004), only a few studies have examined the relationship between parental factors and career adaptability (Guan et al., 2015; Guan et al., 2016). In particular, it is not clear to what extent and how different kinds of parental support are related to the development of career adaptability. To fill this knowledge gap, we investigate the possible influences of parental factors including family background and three kinds of parental support, namely, career guidance, career encouragement and emotional support. It is hoped that this study may delineate the relationships between career adaptability and the different kinds of parental factors and shed light on the parents’ role in the career development of young adults.
Two research questions are addressed in this paper: (1) What are the relationships between family socio-economic status (SES) and resources and career adaptability of young adults at the age of 20? (2) What kinds of parental support are related to young adults’ career adaptability after controlling for the family background factors?
The data is taken from a 5-year longitudinal study, namely HKLSA, which is a follow-up to PISA 2012. The sample is 762 Hong Kong young adults who have participated in PISA 2012 and HKLSA until 2017 when they were 20 years old. From 2012 to 2017, we have collected young adults’ contextual information including gender (2012), family SES and resources (2012), their perceived career-related parental support (2017), perceived parental emotional support (2017) and career adaptability (2017). Family background was measured by the family SES, which is constructed by father’s and mother’s educational level and highest parental occupational status, and four kinds of family resources, that is, cultural possessions, home educational resources, ICT resources and material resources. Perceived career-related parental support was measured by using a 6-item scale (1 = never, 4 = often) which is adapted from the Career-Related Parent Support Scale (CRPSS) (Turner, Alliman-Brissett, Lapan, Udipi & Ergun, 2003) and the Parent Career Behavior Checklist (PCBC) (Keller & Whiston, 2008). A two-factor structure was yielded from Principal Component Analysis (PCA). The first factor, which has the strongest loadings on 4 items (e.g., My parents tell me what kind of job they would like me to have), is labelled ‘perceived parental career guidance’. The second factor, which has the strongest loadings on 2 items (e.g., My parents encourage me to pursue any careers that I like), is labelled ‘perceived parental career encouragement’. Perceived parental emotional support was measured by using a 4-item scale (1 = strongly disagree, 4 = strongly agree) which is adapted from the Parent Questionnaire of PISA 2015 (e.g., My parents encourage me to be confident). A single-factor structure was yielded from PCA. Finally, the outcome variable, i.e., career adaptability, was measured by using the 24-item Career Adapt-Abilities Scale (CAAS) – China Form (Hou, Leung, Li, Li & Xu, 2012) which was translated from the CAAS Scale developed by Savickas and Porfeli (2012). Participants responded to the scale from 1 (not strong) to 5 (strongest). While results of Confirmatory Factor Analysis indicate good fit of the data with the hypothesized 4-factor structure (CFI = 0.94, TLI = 0.93, SRMR = 0.04), only the overall score of CAAS – China Form will be taken as the outcome variable in this study.
Results from descriptive analysis show that the sample comprises of slightly more females (53.8%). The means of perceived parental career guidance, career encouragement and emotional support are 2.42, 2.93 and 2.91 respectively, which are in the range of ‘rarely’ (2) to ‘sometimes’ (3) and ‘disagree’ (2) to ‘agree’ (3) respectively, indicating moderate levels of parental support. The mean of career adaptability is 3.35, which is in the range of ‘strong’ (3) to ‘very strong’ (4). Results from t-test show that females have significantly lower levels of career adaptability than males [t(760) = 2.74, p < 0.01]. Correlations between career adaptability and the other variables are presented in Table 1. As shown, career adaptability correlates positively with cultural possessions (r = 0.07, p < 0.05), perceived parental career encouragement (r = 0.17, p < 0.001) and perceived parental emotional support (r = 0.17, p < 0.001). These findings indicate that young adults who are males, whose family has more cultural possessions and who perceive more career encouragement and emotional support from their parents appear to have higher levels of career adaptability. Results from multiple regression analysis indicated that after taking into account of gender and family background variables, perceived parental career encouragement and emotional support have significant positive effects on career adaptability, whereas the effect of perceived parental career guidance is not significant. This highlights the relatively higher contribution of the affective side of parental support (i.e., career encouragement and emotional support) to young adults’ career development than the provision of career guidance and information. It may be possible that young adults at the age of 20 are more likely to seek career guidance from different sources such as friends and teachers and rely less on parental guidance.
Guan, P., Capezio, A., Restubog, S. L. D., Read, S., Lajom, J. A. L., & Li, M. (2016). The role of traditionality in the relationships among parental support, career decision-making self-efficacy and career adaptability. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 94, 114-123. Guan, Y., Wang, F., Liu, H., Ji, Y., Jia, X., Fang, Z., ... Li, C. (2015). Career-specific parental behaviors, career exploration and career adaptability: A three-wave investigation among Chinese undergraduates. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 86, 95-103. Hou, Z.-J., Leung, S. A., Li, X., Li, X., & Xu, H. (2012). Career Adapt-Abilities Scale—China Form: Construction and initial validation. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(3), 686-691. Keller, B. K., & Whiston, S. C. (2008). The role of parental influences on young adolescents’ career development. Journal of Career Assessment, 16(2), 198–217. Savickas, M. L. (1997). Career adaptability: An integrative construct for life-span, life-space theory. Career Development Quarterly, 45(3), 247-259. Savickas, M. L., & Porfeli, E. J. (2012). Career Adapt-Abilities Scale: Construction, reliability, and measurement equivalence across 13 countries. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(3), 661-673. Turner, S. L., Alliman-Brissett, A., Lapan, R. T., Udipi, S., & Ergun, D. (2003). The career- related parent support scale. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 36(2), 83-94. Whiston, S. C., & Keller, B. K. (2004). The influence of the family of origin on career development: A review and analysis. Counseling Psychologist, 32(4), 493-568.
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